Regulators at the Margins: The Impact of Malpractice Insurers on Solo and Small Firm Lawyers

59 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2016 Last revised: 27 Dec 2016

See all articles by Leslie C. Levin

Leslie C. Levin

University of Connecticut School of Law

Date Written: November 23, 2016

Abstract

Liability insurers often informally regulate the behavior of their insureds through the underwriting process, premium pricing, contract design, and risk management practices. This Article explores whether lawyer professional liability (“LPL”) insurers effectively regulate the behavior of solo and small firm lawyers in ways that encourage responsible conduct. The Article draws on interviews of insurance industry executives, risk management counsel, and insured lawyers, as well as insurer documents and surveys of lawyers, to explore the impact of LPL insurers on the work lives of solo and small firm lawyers. The research reveals that LPL insurers appear to regulate the behavior of solo and small firm lawyers in limited ways. The Article explores the reasons why this is the case. It also discusses solo and small firm lawyers’ attitudes toward malpractice actions, which shed additional light on the likely efficacy of insurers’ efforts to regulate the behavior of these lawyers. The Article identifies a much more effective regulator of some lawyers’ conduct — title insurers — and explains how this regulation occurs and the conditions that make effective regulation possible. It suggests some steps that LPL insurers could take to further encourage solo and small firm lawyers to engage in more responsible behavior.

Keywords: Lawyers, Legal Profession, Law & Society, Malpractice, Insurance

Suggested Citation

Levin, Leslie C., Regulators at the Margins: The Impact of Malpractice Insurers on Solo and Small Firm Lawyers (November 23, 2016). Connecticut Law Review, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2800620 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2800620

Leslie C. Levin (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut School of Law ( email )

65 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, CT 06105
United States
860-570-5207 (Phone)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
55
Abstract Views
635
rank
416,295
PlumX Metrics