March 21, 2019 Top Story

When a Triangle Becomes an Arrow, and the Arrow Points at You

Another state recognizes insurer versus insured’s attorney malpractice claim

By Mark A. Flores

Attorney-client confidentiality is a basic tenant of professional responsibility, but the triangular relationship inherent in insurance engagements can be complicated.

The triangular relationship inherent in insurance engagements can be complicated

The triangular relationship inherent in insurance engagements can be complicated

iStockphoto by Getty Images

There are multiple relationships at play, including: 1) the insurer’s contractual relationship to provide representation for the insured; 2) the attorney’s business relationship with the insurer; and 3) the insured’s attorney-client relationship with the attorney. As demonstrated in the South Carolina Supreme Court’s decision in Sentry Select Ins. Co. v. Maybank Law Firm, LLC, when things go wrong, this triangle may devolve into an arrow pointed at the insured’s attorney.

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