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ABA releases data study analyzing trends in legal malpractice claims from 2012-15

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ABA releases data study analyzing trends in legal malpractice claims from 2012-15

By John Glynn

CHICAGO, Oct. 11, 2016 – The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability has issued its latest in a series of quadrennial studies of the state of the U.S. and Canadian legal malpractice claim trends

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Profile of Legal Malpractice Claims: 2012–2015,” first released in 1985, has tracked legal malpractice claims as reported by participating carriers for 30 years. This one-of-a-kind data analysis produced by the ABA provides attorneys and insurance analysts an in-depth look at both current trends as well as comparisons to historical data collected from the participating legal malpractice insurance carriers.

Data included in the “Profile” is voluntarily provided to the ABA by eight commercial legal malpractice insurance carriers and 18 insurance company members of the National Association of Bar Related Insurance Companies, five of which are Canadian. The study examines the following categories of carrier data: number of claims by area of law; number of claims by number of attorneys in firm; number of claims by type of activity; number of claims by disposition of claim; number of claims by type of alleged error; number of claims by expense paid; number of claims by indemnity dollars paid to claimant; total dollars paid (defense and indemnity/settlements); time interval from error to closing of file; time interval from opening of file to closing of file.

In a number of these categories, the relative experiences of U.S. and Canadian carriers are compared. Finally, the “Profile” provides observations and insights from industry professionals and practitioners reflecting on the results of the data survey and their own experiences.

“The picture painted by the latest ‘Profile of Legal Malpractice Claims’ shows an industry that has emerged from an economic recession, which had produced a surge in real estate-related claims, but for which those claims are now subsiding,” said Shari Klevens, chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers Professional Liability. “We also see growing estate, trust and probate claims, likely due to rising numbers of retiring baby boomers and disputes over the estates of aging families. Overall, the ‘Profile of Legal Malpractice Claims’ continues to provide a fascinating snapshot of claims trends that reflect the larger social and economic conditions in society. It is a must-read for all practitioners and professionals and anyone else with an interest in professional liability claims.”

Title:                  “Profile of Legal Malpractice Claims: 2012–2015”
Publisher:         ABA Publishing
Pages:               36
Product Code:   4140047
ISBN:                978-1-63425-720-6
Size:                  8.5x11
Binding:            Paperback
Price:                $119
Orders:             Order the book at www.shopaba.org or call 800-285-2221.

Editor’s note: Review copies are available by emailing Jason Vail at jason.vail@americanbar.org. If you publish a review of this book, please send tear sheets or a copy for our files to Jason Vail c/o LPL, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement on line. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews