Professional Liability Litigation


Learn while you’re on the go. Listen to the Professional Liability Litigation Committee’s past Sound Advice and Roundtable recordings on this archive page.

Sound Advice

How Your Professional Liability Policy Works
If you don’t fully understand the difference between a circumstance and a claim in an LPL policy, listen as Mike Downey advises on the ins and outs of this unique form of insurance. (9:07 min.)

ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct—Why Should Lawyers Care?
Greg Hanthorn highlights three reasons why all lawyers, regardless of location, should read the ABA Model Rules. (11:09 min.)

What to Include in Your Engagement Letter
This program addresses some common terms and issues to consider including in an engagement letter to reduce the risk of receiving a legal malpractice claim and to increase the likelihood of successfully defending such a claim. (12:17 min.)

Pro Bono Protections: Seven Tips for Your Pro Bono Practice
Melissa Fox and Amanda Giffin (both with Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP) discuss practical tips for how to protect yourself in your pro bono practice. (6:31 min.)

What It’s Like to Argue a Case Before the Supreme Court
Associate Amy Terwilliger interviews partner Ed Marod about what it is like to prepare for and argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. The case, United States v. Clarke, __ U.S. __, 134 S. Ct. 2361 (2014), changed the standard nationwide for evaluating challenges to IRS summonses that taxpayers or witnesses consider to be in bad faith. (14:05 min.)

Stress Management for New Lawyers
Practical tips for managing stress by managing expectations, managing your workload, and taking a minute to meditate. Attorney Melissa Clark and attorney-turned-executive-coach-and-yoga-instructor Erica Cannon share advice on navigating projects and people as a new lawyer. (21:18 min.)

ABA Death Penalty Representation Project
For the Section of Litigation's Access to Justice month, Emily Olson-Gault, director of the ABA's Death Penalty Representation Project, describes the need for pro bono representation for those on death row, and how you can help. (11.39 min.)

Game of Depos
Ed Marod shares his 38 years of hard-earned trial experience in the form of some guidelines for depositions that can help both you and your witness clients. (9:12 min.)

Inadvertent Disclosure of Privilege Documents
Saleel Sabnis outlines what your options are if you ever find yourself in the unenviable position of having unintentionally disclosed documents. (9:49 min.)

Choice of Law and Privilege: What Law Applies to a Claim of Privilege?
Patrick Ferland discusses how, despite the many commonalities that exist, the choice of jurisdiction may have a huge impact on how you build your case. (13:47 min.)

Federal Court Jurisdiction over Legal Malpractice Claims Arising from Patents
Jane Webre, who successfully argued Gunn v. Minton before the U.S. Supreme Court, examines both 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1338 as they apply to the issue. (6:39 min.)

Black Swans and Pension Tsunamis
Paul Bauer discusses the “scandal of prediction” and ways to protect against false assumptions when predicting the future. (16:39 min.)

How Your Professional Liability Policy Works
If you don’t fully understand the difference between a circumstance and a claim in an LPL policy, listen as Mike Downey advises on the ins and outs of this unique form of insurance. (9:07 min)

Engagement Letters
Using engagement and disengagement letters is critical in creating a good lawyer/client relationship and avoiding liability and accidental clients. Listen to Drinker Biddle partner and Ethics Professor Larry Fox review best practices for engagement and disengagement. (11:40 min.)


Tips and Best Practices for Managing PCAOB and SEC Investigations
Former PCAOB and SEC enforcement attorneys and accountant will provide tips and best practices for representing clients in PCAOB and SEC investigations. In addition, the presenters will discuss significant PCAOB and SEC litigated and settled orders that have been made public in 2019. The presenters will include a former director of the Atlanta Regional Office of the SEC, a former advisor the PCAOB chairman and the director of the PCAOB's Division of Enforcement and Investigations (DEI) and former assistant chief accountant of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, and two former attorneys with PCAOB DEI. (62:42 min.)

Regulators Unveil Current Independence Risks Facing Accountants and Auditors Around the Globe: Avoiding Domestic Trouble and Foreign Headaches
Representatives of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) will discuss current issues in auditor independence that can have unfortunate consequences, including unwanted enforcement actions and disciplinary proceedings. (60:51 min.)

Michael W. Husich, Senior Associate Chief Accountant, SEC
C. Gregory Scates, Office of Outreach and Small Business Liaison, PCAOB
James A. West, Manager, Professional Ethics Division-Public Accounting, AICPA

Amelia Toy Rudolph, Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
Tiffany A. Rowe, Better Markets, Inc.

Recent Developments and Hot Topics in Accountants' Liability
Representing an accountant in professional liability litigation or an SEC or PCAOB investigation calls for an understanding of key substantive accounting and auditing issues likely to dominate enforcement proceedings, initiatives and investigations. This roundtable on accountants' liability will feature two regulators and two practitioners addressing the latest developments in accountants’ liability litigation and the SEC and PCAOB's inspection and enforcement efforts regarding domestic and foreign accountants and accounting firms. Issues to be discussed include: recent actions and settlements by the SEC and PCAOB against domestic and foreign accountants and accounting firms for violations including issuing materially false audit reports, alteration of audit workpapers, violations of quality control standards, misleading auditors, violations of auditor independence rules, and developments in the subjective falsity argument post-Omnicare. (61:14 min.)


The information on “Sound Advice” is for discussion purposes only and does not reflect the opinions of the ABA. The information is not legal advice nor a substitute for legal counsel.