What needs to be disclosed on professional liability insurance renewal forms is a hot button issue in any discussion among professional liability practitioners. The importance of accuracy on insurance renewal forms is easily seen in a recent case involving the Baylor Jackson law firm. Claiming that Baylor Jackson did not disclose the existence of two legal malpractice claims when it sought coverage in 2010, the law firm’s professional liability carrier, Navigators Insurance, sought a declaratory judgment to relieve it from the duty to defend and indemnify. District Judge James E. Boasberg, issued a memorandum opinion in which declaratory judgment was granted to Navigators Insurance. Not only did the judge find there was no duty to defend and indemnify, but he also required the law firm to pay back $24,838 in defense expenses.
The best practices take away from this case is that it is very important to disclose any legal malpractice cases against you or your firm when you are seeking professional liability insurance.