Coverage Question Series – Part 37
Post on January 11th, 2019
This is a continuing series in which we address policy coverage questions that we routinely discuss with you and your colleagues. The answers provided are based on the basic policy form, currently LPLP-1s (effective for all policies new or renewed as of May 1, 2018). Refer to your specific policy and any endorsements attached thereto that may change coverage or the answers provided here.
I am representing a family member, am I covered?
It depends. Your mother-in-law got into a fist-fight with a woman in her weekly church group when the righteous gossip got out of hand. When the judge finds in favor of the woman your mother-in-law attacked, mother-in-law looks to you for ruining her case. The “Claim” arises out of an alleged error in rendering “Professional Services” for others in the capacity of a lawyer. The OBLIC policy form provides coverage for such “Claims” by the mother-in-law.
However, assume you are the trustee of mother-in-law’s trust. She makes a claim when you refuse to pay her losses arising out of the church assault case as not being subject for such a payment. The policy does not provide coverage for, and specifically excludes, “Claims” arising out of acts and services as a fiduciary for any fund, trust, or other investment in which a family member has a beneficial interest. There is a list of common familial relationships in the policy that also includes those family members of any Insured under the policy. See page 2, I. COVERAGE, paragraph (c), and page 6, EXCLUSIONS, paragraph (f)(1)(c).
As you should expect, these Q&A scenarios are based on simple hypotheticals. Coverage determinations for an actual claim are ultimately based on the unique facts, applicable law, and the Terms, Conditions, Limitations, Exclusions, and Endorsements of your policy.
Carl Marsh, Esq.