Ritman Insurance Insights

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State of Indiana Notary Law Changes

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The following notary law changes for the State of Indiana will be effective 7/1/2018: Notaries must have a $25,000 surety bond.  All Notaries renewed with a date prior to 7/1/2018 are grandfathered at the $5,000 bond amount until their commission expires. The Indiana Notary Bond form is not changing; however, a copy of the bond will have to be uploaded upon registering with the Indiana Secretary of State.  Also, the applicant will have to pass an expanded online exam duri...

Why do you need Professional Liability Insurance?

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As a boutique insurance agency, RITMAN specializes in all things property and casualty with an emphasis on professional liability insurance for lawyers. We provide insurance solutions for professionals, businesses, and individuals. You take pride in what you do. So do we.    Why do you need Professional Liability Insurance? Ensure your ability to make a living Protecting your business and personal assets To make your client whole should you or a staff member make a ...

Differences in Worker's Compensation

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How does Worker's Compensation Coverage differ between Corporations, Partnerships, LLCs, LLPs, Sole Proprietorships and Professional Corporations? Partnership / LLP Equity Partners are not automatically included. Equity Partners may elect to be included. If the Equity Partners choose to remain excluded from coverage, respond in the following manner on your audit: provide compensation figures for Partners but note "Partners - Not Applicable" on the audit form. ...

DATA BREACH - Be Aware

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Data records compromised over time: 2008 60,000,000 Hackers figured out ways around security 2009 144,000,000 Drop due to added security 2010 4,000,000 Further added security 2011 174,000,000 Hackers figured out ways around security 2012 44,000,000 IT catching more hackers before breach but only matter of time before hackers will have figured ...

The Top 10 Malpractice Traps

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1. Missing deadlines Utilize dual calendars Proper date calculations Cross-check 2. Conflicts of interest and matter Representation of both parties Personal involvement with a client's business Proper ID at engagement 3. Poor client relations Have clear and timely communication Clear engagement/declination letters Clear expectations up-front 4. Ineffective client screening Thorough intake process Conflict check with other firm mem...

How long do I have to maintain client files?

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The file destruction issue is a mix of malpractice and ethics issues. In short, there is no "one time period fits all files" answer. Each file must be reviewed by a lawyer with these matters in mind. Malpractice considerations - Maintain file for minimum time period for running of statute of limitations (SOL) on a legal malpractice claim, generally two years. Note that SOL may not begin to run until the malpractice is discovered. In some circumstances files may have to be mainta...

Collection of Fees

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Clients frequently ask us: "Can we sue for fees?" While we don't encourage suing for fees, we know that lawyers should not be ‘shut out' of availing themselves of the courts to be paid on contractual obligations. Before you sue for fees, follow these guidelines: First, review the file for any potential legal malpractice in the representation (or actions that could be in good faith claimed to be malpractice) that could defeat the fee claim. Have another lawyer in ...

UM/UIM - Hired/Non-Owned Coverage

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Standard Business Owner Policies (BOP) and Commercial Package Policies (CPP) do NOT have Commercially Owned Auto coverage. In Indiana, BOP and Commercial Package Policies generally do not have Uninsured / Under Insured (UM/UIM) coverage. Hired - Non Owned coverage does NOT apply to Partners / Executive Officers driving their own vehicles on business. Hired - Non Owned coverage DOES apply to the law firm if the entity is named as a Defendant Partner slams into another car: Part...