Professional Liability Attorneys

We know how costly professional liability litigation can be to you and your insurers.  We also know it can be distracting, difficult, and interferes with your other client relationships and revenue generation.  It can cause both economic and reputational injury.  Professional liability litigation is stressful and, if not managed, can take an emotional toll on you and your employees.  Because we understand these things, we see it as our job to develop case-specific strategies based on close consultation with you to terminate professional liability disputes and litigation as creatively and promptly as possible.  We work shoulder to shoulder with you to find solutions that meet your specific needs.  We promptly investigate and analyze claims to quickly understand the core issues necessary for resolution of a dispute.  We won’t waste your time or money by wheel-spinning on unfocused legal work.  If your goal is to achieve an early termination of the dispute, we look for opportunities to quickly resolve your matter through thoughtful and results-driven motion practice and various alternative dispute resolution strategies, including mediation.  And throughout the process, your matter will be handled with discretion and confidentiality. 

If your goal is to pursue the dispute through trial or arbitration, we have the demonstrated courtroom capability and skill set to achieve it.  Our team has the courtroom experience and horsepower to successfully try your professional liability case to a successful conclusion.   We have tried dozens and dozens of cases with great outcomes for our clients in state and federal courts.  Our group has litigated numerous high-value cases involving complex factual and legal issues.  We regularly litigate, toe-to-toe, with opponents of greater size and resources, and we win.  Our track record speaks for itself.

Our core areas of professional liability representation include:

  • Attorneys
  • Accountants
  • Insurance Agents & Brokers

Professional Liability – Attorneys

Our Professional Liability group represents lawyers and their local, regional, national and international law firms.  Consistent with our approach to all litigated matters, we devise a case strategy geared to an early resolution of your dispute that protects both your economic interests and your hard-earned reputation.  We work with you to develop a game plan tailored to your goals that focuses on both the big picture as well as the specific matter in issue.

We will provide you with case-specific strategies to resolve your matter as creatively and promptly as possible.  Through early investigation and analysis of your matter, together we will co-develop a strategy to achieve your goals.  Your matter will be handled with complete discretion and confidentiality. 

Our team has extensive experience in a variety of lawyer liability practice areas, including the following types of claims:

  • Professional negligence / legal malpractice
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Breach of contract
  • Unfair competition
  • Fraud
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Abuse of process
  • Defamation
  • Ethical violations
  • Attorney withdrawal
  • Conflicts of interest
  • State Bar complaints
  • Fee disputes
  • Partnership or shareholder disputes, including dissolutions of firms
  • State and federal administrative and regulatory actions
  • Internal law firm investigations
  • Risk management and claim avoidance strategies
  • Disputes with professional liability insurers
  • Law firm employment matters

Professional Liability – Accountants

Whether you are a large international accounting firm or an individual CPA, or fall anywhere in between, our Professional Liability group can provide litigation services and business advisement tailored to your needs.  We assist you with all facets of responding to a professional liability claim and represent accountants in all manners and forums of litigation and alternative dispute resolution proceedings.  We provide sophisticated and experienced risk management counseling, and contract negotiation and drafting assistance.  And our focus is always on working with you to manage and control your risks so that you can concentrate on what you do best.

We take a personal interest in making sure that we know and understand your business practices and goals. And we work closely with you to craft strategies to help you achieve your objectives, whether in the defense of a professional liability claim, pursuing payment from a client, counseling on risk management, or drafting and revising your engagement agreements.
If you are facing litigation, we work with you to identify your options, define a successful outcome and develop a case management strategy.  As promptly as possible, we determine if there is a way to end your case and tailor our strategy accordingly.  Whether for mediation, arbitration or trial, we are focused on achieving your goals.  We are efficient and effective problem-solvers.  Our experience saves you time, effort and money.

The types of services our team provides to our accounting clients include:

  • Litigation and alternate dispute resolution proceedings for:
    • Professional liability claims (errors and omissions)
    • Fee and payment disputes
    • Breach of contract disputes
    • Unfair competition / Unfair business practices (California Business & Professions Code § 17200)
    • Employment matters
  • Risk management counseling and advisement
  • Employment counseling and advisement
  • Business counseling and advisement
    • Contract drafting
    • Professional service agreements
  • Insurance-related counseling and advisement (including insurance coverage issues)
  • Licensing matters and inquiries

Professional Liability – Insurance Agents and Brokers

Our Professional Liability group is frequently engaged by local, regional, and national insurance brokerages to defend errors and omission claims brought against agents and brokers.  Our team litigates these matters in state and federal courts throughout Southern California.  We bring our litigation philosophy squarely to bear on these matters and work with you to devise focused and result-driven strategies to achieve your goals.

Consistent with our approach with all litigation and business matters, we devise a case-specific strategy with you geared towards an early resolution of your dispute that meets both your economic and strategic goals while at the same time protecting your hard-earned reputation.  We work shoulder to shoulder with you to co-develop a game plan tailored to your needs that focuses on both the big picture as well as the specific matter in issue.

We have deep experience in a variety of professional liability matters involving insurance agents and brokers, including the following:

  • Errors and omissions claims
  • Disputes between insurers and their agents and brokers.
  • Unfair competition and false advertising claims
  • Trade secret infringement claims
  • Breach of contract claims
  • Class actions against insurance agents and brokers
  • Disputes between competing insurance agencies and brokerages
  • Partnership or shareholder disputes within insurance agencies and brokerages, including dissolutions of firms
  • Internal investigations of problematic conduct or practices within agencies or brokerages which could lead to third party claims or regulatory action
  • Advisement on risk management and claim avoidance strategies to resolve or terminate toxic customer relationships short of claim assertion

Representative Matters

Attorneys

Representation of a national law firm in a professional liability action brought by a health care staffing company. The company claimed the law firm negligently litigated trade secret cases and billed excessively for its work. The case was settled after an eight-week jury trial.

Representation of a law firm in a professional liability action brought by limited partners in a Texas real estate venture. Plaintiffs claimed damages of $12 million. A defense verdict was rendered in favor of the law firm after a two-week jury trial.

Representation of three former Heller Erhman partners in a judicially-initiated contempt proceeding arising from e-discovery violations in the Qualcomm v. Broadcom litigation. Each client was absolved of responsibility and was dismissed from the proceeding.

Defended international law firm in a professional liability claim brought by a California resort developer arising from acquisition of real property in Mexico for a proposed resort development. Litigation involved proceedings in California and Mexican courts.

Represented major Orange County law firm in a federal court fee disgorgement action initiated by the SEC and the court-appointed receiver of a bankrupt entity under investigation by the SEC.

Defended national law firm in a professional liability action arising from a series of business transactions between clients and firm partners, including a failed real estate development. Plaintiffs’ damage claims exceeded $6.5 million. A defense verdict was rendered in favor of the law firm and its partners after a seven-week jury trial.

Successfully defended law firm in consolidated class action professional liability and securities fraud cases in state and federal court over issuance of tax-exempt municipal bonds. Class members sought damages in excess of $75 million.

Defended international law firm in consolidated professional liability actions brought by FDIC and bankruptcy trustee of failed savings and loan association. Claims arose from law firm’s prior defense of the savings and loan in underlying securities class action and derivative litigation. The consolidated claims brought against law firm client exceeded $140 million.

Defended national law firm in a professional liability action brought by limited partners in a real estate limited partnership that was represented by the law firm. Obtained dismissal of client from action by way of motion for summary judgment

Accountants

Defended international accounting firm in coordinated class action securities and professional liability litigation in state and federal courts. Litigation arose from alleged accounting fraud at a publicly traded business software company. The class plaintiffs sought damages in excess of $100 million.

Representation of an international accounting firm in a professional liability action brought by a sports memorabilia company. The action arose from advice given by the accounting firm concerning tax avoidance strategies later disqualified by the IRS, resulting in a significant tax liability and penalties to the plaintiff.

Insurance Agents and Brokers

Defended a national surplus lines insurance broker in a professional liability action involving allegations of fraud, misrepresentation and insurance code violations.  Obtained judgment favorable to client after binding arbitration.

Represented a wholesale insurance broker in consolidated claims alleging fraud, breach of contract and various Insurance Code violations in connection with the denial of coverage for third party claims relating to the development of a multi-family residential tract.

Represented a retail insurance broker in connection with claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. Obtained a dismissal of all claims with no monetary payment.

 


Serve Clients both Locally and Internationally…

Let the San Diego Professional Liability Lawyers at Higgs Fletcher & Mack represent you today. Fill out the free initial contact form to schedule your consultation.

Click Here to Get Started