Lawyer Malpractice Insurance

David D. Hudgins, chair
 

ALPS Property & Casualty Insurance Company is the VSB’s endorsed professional liability insurance carrier.  The Special Committee on Lawyer Malpractice Insurance (LMIC) continued its overview of ALPS’s risk management endeavors during FY2016.  

In FY2016, the LMIC met four times:  September17, 2015, November 17, 2015, February 18, 2016, and May 12, 2016.  At each of those meetings, the LMIC received a report from Chris Newbold, Executive Vice President regarding ALPS overall results and ALPS results in Virginia.  ALPS contributed 3 percent of its Virginia gross written premium in calendar year 2016, or $290,359.02, to support a variety of ALPS risk management activities in Virginia.  The 3% is a condition of ALPS endorsement agreement with the Virginia State Bar, permitted by statute.  The money is held and spent by ALPS in a risk management program in Virginia overseen by the VSB Special Committee on Lawyer Malpractice Insurance.  

In the first quarter of 2016, ALPS had assets of $108,582,064 million with policyholder surplus of $36,978,088.  The Virginia book had $3.4 million of gross written premium and net written premium of $2.29 million.  Virginia’s net combined ratio in the first quarter of 2016 was 99.28%, compared to ALPS 93.30%.  Insured law firms were 578, and insured attorneys stood at 1,282.  Claims frequency was 2.42% in Virginia compared to 3.45% in the first quarter for ALPS overall. 

As of the end of the first quarter of 2016, expenses amounted to $79,864.22.  Revenue stood at $72,437.91.  The risk management budget supported the following programs:

On–Demand Programing: 

Currently, 15 programs exist in the Virginia on-demand library.   They range in length from 45min to three hours.   New on-demand programs have been added throughout the year. Charges for the on-demand seminars are as follows:  programs for one hour $35 for insureds, $65 for non-insureds; two hour programs $45 for insured, $75 for non-insured; and three hour programs $60 for insureds, and $90 for non-insured.   Course listing can be viewed at: http://alps.inreachce.com/Search?category=a84aa593-3439-46f7-b433-6dff8acfd1f8

• Quarterly Result: In Q1, we had 76 VA registrants for on-demand programs, with 74 ALPS insureds and 2 non-insured. 

• YTD Result: YTD, we had 76 VA registrants for on-demand programs, with 74 ALPS insureds and 2 non-insured.


Webinar Programming

In Q1 (February 17), ALPS performed one webinar, “Understanding File Documentation,” presented by Mark Bassingthwaighte.

•  Quarterly Result: In Q1, ALPS had 37 Virginia webinar registrants, with 35 ALPS insureds and 2 non-insured. 

•  YTD Result: YTD, 37 VA registrants for Webinars, with 35 ALPS insureds and 2 non-insured. 

 

In Q2, ALPS three webinars took place:

  • Practice Concerns for Solo Attorneys (May 5th) presented by Mark B.
  • The Ethics of Legal Marketing (June 2nd) presented by Sean Carter.  This is a partnership webinar with Mesa CLE. 
  • Fundamentals of Trust Accounting (June 29th) co-presented by Mark B. and Fredericksburg attorney Jeannie Dahnk. 

 

Fall CLE  Tour:

Preliminary work on the 2016 Fall Ethics and Professionalism tour is well underway as of the committee’ May 2016 meeting.  Here are projected dates and locations:

 

Week 1

  • 9/12 – Newport News PM
  • 9/13 – Chesapeake AM
  • 9/14 – Charlottesville PM
  • 9/15 – Roanoke AM
  • 9/16 – Fairfax AM & PM (LMIC meeting will coincide with this event)

 

Week 2

  • 10/3 -  Virginia Beach PM
  • 10/4 – Richmond AM & PM
  • 10/5 – Manassas PM
  • 10/6 – Alexandria AM

 

Spring 2016 Tour

The spring tour occurred on time and with excellent execution.  Dates and attendance numbers were as follows:  

  • 4/13 – Fredericksburg – 69 registrants, 47 in attendance (1/3 ALPS insureds, 2/3 non-insureds)
  • 4/14 – Lynchburg – 45 registrants, 45 in attendance (1/3 ALPS insureds, 2/3 non-insureds)
  • 4/15 – Abingdon – 46 registrants, 46 in attendance (1/3 ALPS insureds, 2/3 non-insureds)

This was a repeat of the 2015 tour program and included either Jim McCauley or Seth Guggenheim from the VSB Ethics Counsel office, a local attorney and Mark B. The feedback from these events was very positive, both from attendees and faculty.

 

Local Programs and Events

3/18/16

2.0 hr

35

Malpractice  Missteps and Conflicts

Wise County Bar

 

Cameron Bell

 

 Local Bars Risk Management Grant Program:  The Grants Subcommittee consists of Jeff Geiger, Alanna Williams, Kevin Purnell and Angela Isabell.  The chart below outlines grants since the program began in 2014:

 

Organization

Program

Community

Amount Requested

Amount Awarded

Fall 2014 Applicants

Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association

Mentorship Program & Spring Mentorship Event

Richmond

$4,000

$4,000

Virginia Beach Bar Association

Mentorship Program

Virginia Beach

$1,000

$1,000

Tazewell County Bar Association

Solo and Small Firm Practitioner Conference

Abingdon

$1,000

$1,000

South Hampton Bar Association

CLE for Lawyers who are also caregivers

Norfolk

$10,000

$3,000

Virginia Bar Association Foundation

Law Student Transition Program

Statewide

$10,000

$0 (withdrew application)

Spring 2015 Applicants

Prince William County Bar Association

New Attorney Roundtable Event

Manassas

$2,000

$2,000

Roanoke Bar Association

Bench Bar Conference

Roanoke

$3,000

$0?

Roanoke Bar Association

Law Library maintenance

Roanoke

$3,000

$0

Virginia Creditors Bar Association

Annual Member CLE

Statewide

$2,500

$2,500

Rolling 2015 Applications

Prince William County Bar Association

Intro to the Courts Program

Manassas

$1,300

$1,300

Salem-Roanoke County Bar Association

Breakfast With Ethics Program

Salem

$1,500

$1,500

Fall 2015 Applications

Alexandria Bar Association

 Mentorship Program

Alexandria

 $1,000

$500

Prince William County Bar

 Law Office Management 101

Manassas

 $2,450

$2,450

Prince William County Bar

 Tips from the Pros

Manassas

 $2,330

$2,330

Roanoke Bar

 Bench Bar Conference

Roanoke

 $800

$800

Salem-Roanoke Bar

 Indigent CLE program 

Salem

 $2,000

$0

Hanover Bar

 High School Program

Hanover

 $5,000

$0

Local Government Attorneys of Virginia

 Law Student Conference Scholarship

Richmond

 $9,950

$3,700

Newport News Bar

 CLE on working with clients with mental health issues

Newport News

 $2,500

 $2,500

Newport News Bar

 CLE on succession planning for small firms

Newport News

 $2,500

 $2,500

Newport News Bar

 First Day in Practice CLE

Newport News

 $2,500

 $2,500

Spring 2016 Applications

Tazewell County Bar Association

Solo and Small Firm Practitioner Conference

Abingdon

$2,000

$2,000

Asian Pacific American Bar of VA

Regional Conference

Statewide

$10,000

Uncertain; pending more info

 

 

 

Total

$82,330

$35,580

 

Use of Surplus Funds:  LMIC members were kept advised by ALPS of surplus fund projections.   The last of the $15,000 of the $17,700 leftover surplus funds from the 2015 RM budget was used for support of the 2016 VSB Techshow.  The VSB Techshow took place at the Richmond Convention Center on April 25, 2016, to rave reviews.  ALPS’ contribution was used to fund the coffee breaks, the lunch provided and wi-fi access.  Ultimately, $15,000 was used from last year’s surplus, and $15,000 in the 2016 budget to fund $30,000 overall of VSB-sponsored events (TechShow and Solo and Small Firm Forums), including $22,000 in payments for direct costs and $8,000 to fund indirect costs to staff events, produce materials and provide giveaways. 

 

Upcoming Meeting Dates

            September 16, 2016    The Waterford at Fair Oaks, Fairfax

            November 15, 2016    VSB office, Richmond

            February 16, 2017       VSB office, Richmond

            May 11, 2017              VSB office, Richmond

Updated: Aug 03, 2016