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When to Call OBLIC
Post on July 14th, 2023

A recent crime drama series sparked a plethora of “Better Call” references in popular culture. We conclude most of our OBLICAlerts and publications to our policyholders with an invitation to call OBLIC. Unfortunately, we continue to encounter situations where an insured attorney hesitated to call, often aggravating issues that could have been avoided or mitigated with a bit of help from OBLIC. So , when should you call OBLIC?

Call OBLIC for Loss Prevention

If you have an ethics question, practice management issues, or even just curiosities related to the practice of law, we’re here to talk with you. We can discuss your questions and reference ethics rules, opinions, cases, and more to help you.

Questions are often asked about conflicts of interest, difficult clients, changing firms, succession planning and retirement, closed files, and other miscellaneous topics. We can also facilitate a complimentary (up to 1- hour) ethics consult with outside ethics counsel for those more difficult questions (one per insured attorney, per policy period).

The point of loss prevention is to help stop or alleviate problems before they escalate into claims, disciplinary matters, or other forms of sticky messes. If you think you might have an issue or concern, please call us.

Call OBLIC for Disciplinary Matters

The OBLIC policy provides coverage for disciplinary matters. For coverage to apply, an insured attorney must BOTH first learn of the grievance during the “Policy Period” and report the grievance in writing to OBLIC during that same “Policy Period.” Thus, if an attorney receives a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) from Disciplinary Counsel or a Certified Grievance Committee, it’s important to contact OBLIC immediately.

This is an area where the old adage about a lawyer representing themself tends to be true! In our experience, answering the initial LOI on your own often results in requests for additional information due to incomplete or unclear responses. Call OBLIC if you think a client might be filing a grievance as well. We can assist in responding to difficult clients.

Call OBLIC for Potential Claims

While the OBLIC policy requires an insured to inform OBLIC when they become aware of any acts, errors or omissions that would reasonably be expected to lead to a “Claim,” attorneys still hesitate to call OBLIC. Sometimes it’s wishful thinking that the matter will just go away or believing that since you did not commit an error, it won’t lead to a claim. Or perhaps an attorney thinks (mistakenly so) that such notification will lead to cancellation of their policy or premium increase.

We’ll reiterate – if you think there might be a problem, please call OBLIC! Regardless of the merit of a potential claim, please let OBLIC know. This also includes any request for tolling of the statute of limitations. The loss prevention and claims departments at OBLIC work together to assist our policyholders, so don’t hesitate.

Call OBLIC for Subpoena Assistance

If an insured receives a request for their file or their testimony, we can provide subpoena assistance, with prior approval. Please don’t wait until the day before the file has to be produced or the deposition taken. If you are contacted informally before the subpoena is issued, that’s the time to call. 

Call OBLIC for Cyber Incidents

The OBLIC Policy provides basic data breach coverage for privacy breach response costs, notification expenses, credit monitoring, and network asset protection. There is also indemnity for extortion expenses incurred as a direct result of a credible cyber extortion threat, such as a ransomware attack. Call OBLIC to report a cyber incident and determine if there is coverage.

Call if you don’t know whether to call

Loss prevention receives lots of calls that begin like this, “Well, I don’t know if I should call, but I called to find out.”  Yes! Please call us if this is what you’re considering. We’ll help you through the situation! When we say we’re here to help – we mean it! Talk to you soon!

Gretchen K. Mote, Esq.
Director of Loss Prevention
Ohio Bar Liability Insurance Co.
Direct:  614.572.0620
[email protected]
Merisa K. Bowers, Esq.
Loss Prevention Counsel
Ohio Bar Liability Insurance Co.
Direct:  614.859.2978
[email protected]


This information is made available solely for loss prevention purposes, which may include claim prevention techniques designed to minimize the likelihood of incurring a claim for legal malpractice. This information does not establish, report, or create the standard of care for attorneys. The material is not a complete analysis of the topic and should not be construed as providing legal advice. Please conduct your own appropriate legal research in this area. If you have questions about this email’s content and are an OBLIC policyholder, please contact us using the information above.