CPIL Executive Director Robert C. Fellmeth Testifies before California State Bar Malpractice Insurance Working Group

Robert C. fellmeth

Los Angeles (July 9, 2018) – University of San Diego School of Law Center for Public Interest Law’s (CPIL) Executive Director Robert C. Fellmeth testified before the State Bar Malpractice Insurance Working Group (MIWG) on Monday, advocating for attorneys in California to carry minimum malpractice insurance.

Currently, the Bar does not require attorneys to carry malpractice insurance, nor does it include malpractice judgment collection as part of its Client Security Fund.  Thus leaving some consumers with no civil recovery from attorney’s malpractice for whom they fall victim too.

According to Fellmeth, “[t]o fulfill its primary mandate under the law, which should matter to those regulating lawyers, the Bar needs to (a) work to prevent incompetence in good faith, and (b) allow consumers to recover at least some reasonable sum for damages or restitution where negligence has occurred. CPIL has worked over the years to reform the State Bar.”  

Pursuant to newly-added section 6069.5 of the Business and Professions Code, effective January 1, 2018, the legislature directed the State Bar, by March 31, 2019, to conduct a review and study regarding errors and omissions insurance for attorneys licensed in California, including the availability of insurance; measures for encouraging attorneys to obtain insurance; recommended ranges of insurance limits; the adequacy of the disclosure rule regarding insurance; and the advisability of mandating insurance for licensed attorneys.

MIWG was formed to undertake the review and study mandated by the legislature.

To read Professor Fellmeth’s full testimony click here.

To review CPIL’s work on State Bar Reform please visit its website at www.cpil.org.

About Center for Public Interest Law

Founded in 1980, the University of San Diego School of Law’s Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) serves as an academic center of research and advocacy in regulatory and public interest law. CPIL focuses its efforts on the study of an extremely powerful, yet often overlooked, level of government: state regulatory agencies. Under the supervision of experienced public interest attorneys and advocates, CPIL law student interns study California agencies that regulate business, professions, and trades.

CPIL publishes the California Regulatory Law Reporter, a unique legal journal that covers the activities and decisions of over 12 major California regulatory agencies.

In addition to its academic program, CPIL has an advocacy component. Center faculty, professional staff, and interns represent the interests of the unorganized and underrepresented in California’s legislature, courts, and regulatory agencies. CPIL attempts to make the regulatory functions of California government more efficient and visible by serving as a public monitor of state regulatory activity. The Center has been particularly active in reforming the state’s professional discipline systems for attorneys and physicians, and in advocating public interest reforms to the state’s open meetings and public records statutes.

About the University of San Diego School of Law

The University of San Diego (USD) School of Law is recognized for the excellence of its faculty, depth of its curriculum, and strength of its clinical programs. Each year, USD educates approximately 800 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 35th nationally and 6th on the West Coast among U.S. law faculties in scholarly impact and 24th nationally and 6th on the West Coast in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.


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