The Business Litigation Blog

ISBA Brought a Declaratory Judgment in a Legal Malpractice Case Regarding Professional Liability Insurance

The Illinois State Bar Association recently brought a declaratory judgment action against one of its members in Indiana federal court seeking a ruling that it has no obligation to defend the member from certain claims in an underlying suit.

The underlying suit, which is being heard in an Indiana state court, accuses the member, Patricia Sharkey, of malpractice in a case involving the construction of seawalls in a town on Lake Michigan's southeastern shore. The suit also seeks sanctions from Sharkey for the same conduct. The suit alleges that Sharkey and others engaged in "intentional and conspiratorial conduct" by concealing conflicts of interest.

The Illinois State Bar Association's declaratory judgment action seeks relief on the grounds that its policy does not cover the types of claims that were brought against Sharkey, namely that the policy "does not cover a claim for conspiracy to violate substantive due process rights based on conduct warranting the imposition of punitive damages as alleged in the federal case, and does not involve a 'wrongful act.'"

If you have questions about how or when to involve your professional liability insurance carrier in a legal malpractice claim, Patterson Law Firm can help. 

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