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Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  29 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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I am a new attorney trying to find out whether I am required

Customer Question

I am a new attorney trying to find out whether I am required to carry legal malpractice insurance. I have decided to set up practice in my house. I am in RI. Also can I set myself up as a corporation so that if I don't carry malpractice insurance my personal assets can't be reached?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for your question.Rode Island here does not require you to have it or for that matter to disclose if you do not carry it here.It may change in the future but currently no such requirements.



http://www.halt.org/reform_projects/lawyer_accountability/pdf/Malpractice_insurance_disclosure_091505.pdf


You might want to check into JA here as a suppliment to your law practice.We have many part time lawyers here.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I'm not so sure about the disclosure part. I believe there is something in the rules of professional conduct that require disclosure. You did not answer what I asked about the acceptability and legality of an individual lawyer setting herself up as a corporation, thereby making it impossible for personal assets to be reached in the case of a malpractice lawsuit. I need someone who has thorough knowledge of the way Rhode Island operates to be answering this question, unless the answers are universal in nature.
Expert:  Ray replied 4 years ago.
You can incorporate as regular S corporation of an LLC it does offer you protection here in case of liability

Here's a sample corporation here.

http://www.lawyers.com/Rhode-Island/Providence/FoleyCerilli-A-Professional-Corporation-1576824-f.html

Edited by RayAnswers on 2/1/2010 at 1:37 AM EST
Expert:  Ray replied 4 years ago.
I do not any disclosure requirement here under professional conduct rules.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/ethics/ri/code/RI_CODE.HTM
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 29647
Experience: 29 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
Ray and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

There is a section in RI's Rules of Professional Conduct that gives me great pause. I will show you it but think I want to stop at this point and get instate help. This is far too important for me to proceed without any confidence in what I am doing. These are RI's Rules: http://www.courts.ri.gov/supreme/pdf-files/Rules_Of_Professional_Conduct.pdf

 

This is the section in question:

 

Limiting Liability and Settling Malpractice Claims

[14] Agreements prospectively limiting a lawyer's liability for malpractice are prohibited unless

the client is independently represented in making the agreement because they are likely to

undermine competent and diligent representation. Also, many clients are unable to evaluate the

desirability of making such an agreement before a dispute has arisen, particularly if they are

then represented by the lawyer seeking the agreement. Paragraph (h)(1) does not, however,

prohibit a lawyer from entering into an agreement with the client to arbitrate legal malpractice

claims, provided such agreements are enforceable and the client is fully informed of the scope

and effect of the agreement. Nor does this paragraph limit the ability of lawyers to practice in

the form of a limited-liability entity, where permitted by law, provided that each lawyer remains

personally liable to the client for his or her own conduct and the firm complies with any

conditions required by law, such as provisions requiring client notification or maintenance of

75

adequate liability insurance. Nor does it prohibit an agreement in accordance with Rule 1.2 that

defines the scope of the representation, although a definition of scope that makes the obligations

of representation illusory will amount to an attempt to limit liability.

 

 

Thank you anyway.

Expert:  Ray replied 4 years ago.
Good luck here, I do not believe that this requires disclosure with every client.

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