Posted by: notdeaddinosaur | October 21, 2009

Texas Follows in California’s Footsteps

The more things change…

Way back in June of 2007 I wrote this post, about the uproar in California when a rule was proposed compelling lawyers to disclose to their clients whether or not they carried professional liability insurance.

Now it’s happening in Texas:

The Supreme Court of Texas has asked the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors to make recommendations in early 2010 regarding if Texas lawyers should disclose to the public whether they are covered by professional liability insurance (PLI)….Texas attorneys are not required to carry PLI. In fact, the American Bar Association reports Oregon as “the only jurisdiction that requires its lawyers to carry malpractice insurance.” For some occupations, insurance is mandated, for others it’s simply seen as a necessary (and responsible) business practice. While Texas attorneys seem to recognize the benefit of their industry’s exemption from PLI, they seem resistant to the public being fully informed of this status.

(h/t, via WhiteCoat)

I’m not sure I can say it any better than I did before. I only hope that it’s okay to plagiarize oneself:

From the [original] article [about the corresponding issue in California]:

Malpractice insurance protects clients who lose money because of a lawyer’s negligence — missing a filing deadline, for example, or providing incompetent representation that affects the outcome of a case.

A lawyer’s insurance status is “a highly relevant piece of information that a new client deserves to know,” said San Jose attorney James Towery, a former State Bar president and head of a task force that drafted the proposal.

The ultimate irony, of course, is their corresponding stand on medical malpractice insurance. Even as they go merrily picking our pockets with mandated levels of coverage, they bitch and moan about merely disclosing that they themselves can’t be bothered to protect their own clients. Can you imagine the uproar that would ensue if doctors not only chose to go bare (if they had the option) but then refused to tell their patients? How dare they! How irresponsible!

Just to be clear: no one is proposing that lawyers be required to carry malpractice insurance, merely that they disclose to their clients whether or not they carry it. For those morons thoughtful individuals who claim they’ve never been informed whether or not their doctors carry medical malpractice insurance, it should be noted that in almost every state it is required as a condition of licensure that a physician carry certain minimum levels of professional liability insurance. Apparently in states that do not have this requirement (Oregon; Florida) doctors are indeed required to disclose the fact that they do not carry it.

This one continues to fall way beyond “irony”, past “hypocrisy”, and right off the chutzpah meter.Once again, lawyers are proving themselves to be the most outrageous assholes imaginable. (I guess it’s true that everything is bigger in Texas.)

Epic WTF.


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