Winter 2019 Gavel Gavel Winter 2019 - Page 13

instructions when you closed any given file, seek those instructions now. Many attorneys will simply send letters to their clients’ last known addresses. Once you learn their wishes, carry them out. If you are going to destroy a file, make sure you follow through with the notion of destruction. “Destruction” does not mean leaving the file in a dumpster behind the office. You should incinerate or shred these files. You cannot compromise your client’s confidences, even in file destruction. Again, document your actions. Track the client’s name, file matter, method of disposition (destroyed, returned), and date of disposition. Turning to one specific business concern, contact your malpractice insurance carrier well in advance of closing. The purpose is to begin the process of learning about the options for obtaining an extended reporting endorsement (ERE – more commonly referred to as a “tail policy”). This endorsement is not a new policy. It simply provides an attorney the right to report claims to the insurer after a policy has expired or been cancelled. Again, it is important to note under most ERE provisions, the purchase of the endorsement is not one of additional coverage or of a separate and distinct policy. This means no coverage will be available for a wrongful act that takes place during the time the ERE is in effect. So, if a claim arises several years post retirement out of work done in retirement, for example writing a will as a favor for a friend, there would be no coverage for that claim under the ERE. That’s worth remembering. Disclaimer: ALPS presents this publication or document as general information only. While ALPS strives to provide accurate information, ALPS expressly disclaims any guarantee or assurance that this publication or document is complete or accurate. Therefore, in providing this publication or document, ALPS expressly disclaims any warranty of any kind, whether express or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. Further, by making this publication or document available, ALPS is not rendering legal or other professional advice or services and this publication or document should not be relied upon as a substitute for such legal or other professional advice or services. ALPS warns that this publication or document should not be used or relied upon as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your professional practice, business or personal affairs. Instead, ALPS highly recommends that you consult an attorney or other professional before making any decisions regarding the subject matter of this publication or document. ALPS Corporation and its subsidiaries, affiliates and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss or damage sustained by any person who uses or relies upon the publication or document presented herein. WINTER 2019 13