On this edition of the Lawyerist podcast, Sam talks to Nicolle Schippers about what legal insurance is and how it can help to bridge the access to justice gap.
Would You Buy an Insurance Policy That Only Pays if You Lose a Case?
Last month, two Florida attorneys launched an insurance company that insures you against losing a case. Sam explained that the idea behind it is that if you are a plaintiff’s lawyer, you purchase a policy on your case, and if you lose the case, the insurance company pays you $100,000. If you win, you pay 7%.
Aaron pointed out that this could certainly lead to some ethics issues where a lawyer could decide to lose and the lawyer would benefit while the client gets nothing. Sam noted, however, that a lawyer could theoretically make an arrangement with a client: turn down the paltry $10,000 settlement offered and allow the lawyer to lose the case, at which point the lawyer would pay the client more money than they would have received in the settlement.
As the cases aren’t vetted, Aaron noted that the big questions here are about the details of coverage. Presumably there is some sort of underwriting, and perhaps there is some sort of contract detailing who can actually receive a payout. Regardless, it is an interesting new option for personal injury attorneys.
Legal Insurance and Bridging the Access to Justice Gap, with Nicolle Schippers
Nicolle is the Associate General Counsel and Legal Industry Advocate at ARAG, a legal insurance company, where she has served as counsel for over eight years. In her role at ARAG, in addition to her legal duties, Nicolle manages the Regulatory Compliance and Provider Relations teams and consults on the future of the legal insurance industry. Prior to ARAG, Nicolle worked as a corporate consultant for Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Company and also served five years in the Air Force as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) during which time she held the roles of criminal prosecutor, family law attorney, claims and tax attorney, and defense counsel.
You can follow Nicolle on LinkedIn.
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