California considers new regulations on legal malpractice

California’s recently been making the news for creating newer laws that give employees more freedom when it comes to harassment cases in the workplace. However, laws for multiple industries could face potential changes as the state tries to make it fair for more employees or customers. The legal field is not immune from this.

Recently, the state’s Board of Trustees allowed the authorization of the Malpractice Insurance Working Group (MIWG) to conduct a study on legal malpractice in the state. Depending on how their research and proposals go, California could see numerous changes that affect filing for a legal malpractice claim.

The survey says

One of the biggest topics of debate was whether attorneys should include legal malpractice insurance. In California, it is currently not necessary to have it, but attorneys must disclose this with their clients. While they have gathered a lot of information on the matter, they have received minimal feedback from lawyers and legal consumers.

Because of this, they are requesting for public comment before their next meeting in November. They need more varying opinions on the matter before they can reach a definitive conclusion on the subject. Some of the options they are considering endorsing include:

  • Requiring the majority of licensed attorneys to have legal malpractice insurance (except for in-house counsel and government attorneys)
  • Creating a legal malpractice educational program for attorneys to complete
  • Enforcing the rules for attorneys to disclose information about their legal malpractice insurance by including the type of policy and amount of coverage
  • Promoting voluntary insurance purchases

What this could mean

If they get enough of a response to warrant changes to the system and convince the state to make some changes on legal malpractice laws, it could have a large impact on attorney and client interactions.

Supporters of requiring attorneys to get malpractice insurance and to take classes would appreciate the extra efforts being made to prevent legal malpractice and ensuring that the client gets compensation for the attorney’s mistake. Those against it would not like the extra time and money going into the classes and how mandatory malpractice insurance could make attorneys charge their clients more.

Regardless of the results, it does demonstrate that the state is starting to take the issue of legal malpractice very seriously. Clients who believe they lost their case because their lawyer is guilty of malpractice should not be afraid of contacting a legal malpractice attorney to get back what they originally deserved.