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-1t; refer to your specific policy and any endorsements attached thereto that may change coverage or the answers provided. 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.
I really, really want to sue my client for fees after my representation ended last month, am I covered?
Yes. But importantly, wait a year. The statute of limitations for legal malpractice in Ohio is one year. You may have up to six years to collect your unpaid fee. Allegations of malpractice have a funny way of being asserted by clients who are getting sued for fees. If you wait the year, the malpractice counterclaim is relegated to just an affirmative defense and set-off of what you are owed. We all want to be paid for the services we provide, but by filing too soon an unnecessary risk to a malpractice claim is created. In addition, you might expect an increase in premium if you don’t wait the year, as risk creating behavior typically increases insurance premiums – go figure.