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The Rundle Law Firm

Q: Is there insurance available to pay me a settlement or judgment for my attorney’s mistakes?

Washington does not require that attorneys carry professional liability insurance. However, as of this writing, a move is afoot within the Washington Bar Association to change this and require all Washington lawyers to maintain such insurance.

Presently, the public can confirm whether or not any Washington-licensed lawyer has such insurance on the Washington Bar Association's website. However, the amount of insurance coverage is not available to the public. It can be obtained, along with a copy of the policy itself, by the plaintiff after a lawsuit has been commenced, through the "discovery" rules. Often that information is shared between counsel upon request before a lawsuit is filed, in order to facilitate settlement discussions, but the would-be defendant is not required to divulge the information pre-suit.

In this firm's experience, Washington lawyers who do carry professional liability insurance usually have coverage in the amount of $500,000 or greater.

Oregon, on the other hand, requires that all licensed attorneys maintain professional liability insurance, with a minimum coverage of $300,000. Painfully often, many sole practitioner attorneys and small firms do not supplement this insurance with more coverage. Larger firms typically care significantly more, as do many smaller firms as well.

These articles are for informational purposes only. An attorney-client relationship is not established with this firm without express written agreement. If you have an actual legal matter, you should not rely on the statements or conclusion in these articles, but instead should seek legal representation.