Legal Question in Legal Malpractice in Virginia

I filed a malpractice suit against an attorney for holding a casefile past the statue of limitations and at the court date the attorney announced he had filed bankruptcy. The case has temporarily been pulled from the docket pending the outcome of the bankruptcy hearing. Per the advise of Lawguru I researched and found that the attorney has malpractice insurance. My question is should I refile the lawsuit naming both the attorney and the malpractice insurance carrier or file just against the malpractice insurance carrier only? Thank you so much for your continued assistance!

Asked on 4/10/11, 5:32 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael Hendrickson Law Office Michael E. Hendrickson

No, I do not believe the insurance carrier could be directly named as a defendant

in your lawsuit. The carrier's obligation under the policy would extend to defending the attorney policy holder, but if your cause of action against him is

placed in suspension due to his bankruptcy filing, the insurer would have no

further obligation to the attorney until your case against him is reinstated (if such should ever occur).

In other words, under the circumstances described, you would have no valid claim of tort liability directly against this provider of malpractice insurance for the actions or omissions of its policy holder.

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Answered on 4/13/11, 8:06 am

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