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Justices take legal-malpractice insurance case

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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to a case in which a legal professional liability insurer claimed it didn’t receive actual notice of claims against the attorney, so the former clients couldn’t collect under the plan.

On Nov. 10, the justices took Michael Ashby, et al. v. C. Bruce Davidson Jr., No. 49S04-1011-CV-635. The Bar Plan intervened in complaints filed by clients of the attorney for legal malpractice, claiming because C. Bruce Davidson Jr. didn’t notify the insurer of the claims that he didn’t help with in the investigation. Bar Plan also claimed that because there can be no recovery in the underlying suit, the insurer should be granted summary judgment.

The insurer issued a policy to Davidson, who while that plan was in effect abandoned his law practice and robbed numerous banks in multiple states. He is now disbarred and in prison.

The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment and ruled Paint Shuttle Inc. v. Continental Casualty Co., 733 N.E.2d 513 (Ind. Ct. App. 2000), didn’t support the insurer’s arguments, and that the actual notice Bar Plan received from the clients was proper. The appellate court remanded for further proceedings.

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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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