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Speaker, The Epidemic of Claims by Non-Clients Against Company Counsel, and What You Can Do About It

April 4, 2019
ABA National Legal Malpractice Conference (Miami Beach, FL)

To establish a claim of malpractice against a lawyer, a plaintiff must show that the lawyer owed a duty to the plaintiff, breached that duty, and caused damages as a proximate result. In order to prove the existence of a duty, once upon a time the plaintiff had to prove an attorney-client relationship. Yet today, non-clients are asserting claims against lawyers at an unprecedented rate and some courts appear to be receptive to broadening theories of lawyer duties to non-clients.This panel will focus on how this trend impacts lawyers who represent corporate clients, who are increasing subject of claims brought by their clients' shareholders, officers, directors, employees, and even corporate outsiders like lenders or transaction counterparties. It also will review what lawyers can do to mitigate the risk of these claims.