As of January 1, 2019, California Evidence Code §1129 began its requirement that all attorneys with clients participating in mediation use the following Mediation Disclosure Notification and Acknowledgment. The following Word and PDF versions are embedded for your convenience.
Mediation Disclosure Notification and Acknowledgment
To promote communication in mediation, California law generally makes mediation a confidential process. California’s mediation confidentiality laws are laid out in Sections 703.5 and 1115 to 1129, inclusive, of the Evidence Code.
These laws establish the confidentiality of mediation and limit the disclosure, admissibility, and a court’s consideration of communications, writings, and conduct in connection with a mediation.
In general, these laws mean the following:
- All communications, negotiations, or settlement offers in the course of a mediation must remain confidential.
- Statements made and writings prepared in connection with a mediation are not admissible or subject to discovery or compelled disclosure in noncriminal proceedings.
- A mediator’s report, opinion, recommendation, or finding about what occurred in a mediation may not be submitted to or considered by a court or another adjudicative body.
- A mediator cannot testify in any subsequent civil proceeding about any communication or conduct occurring at, or in connection with, a mediation.
This means that all communications between attorneys and their clients made in preparation for a mediation, or during a mediation, are confidential and cannot be disclosed or used (except in extremely limited circumstances).Read More
One of the greatest risks that law firms face is the loss or misuse of sensitive client data. Due to viruses, malware, hacking and even inadvertent misplacement of mobile devices and laptops, your clients’ valuable information is also a significant liability.
Lawyers’ Mutual partners with NAS/Tokio Marine to provide online training and coverage for many types of cyber loss (Click here now for a summary of our cyber coverage).
Todd Sexton, a cyber security specialist for law firms, brings you up to date on regulations and strategies necessary to protect your law firm and your clients’ funds from cyber criminals. Click here now and receive .75 hrs of CLE general credit.Read More
Have you received a request for a wire transfer? Before moving forward with disbursement of any funds entrusted to you, consider the following:
Step 1: Red flags
- Receiving an urgent email to disburse funds.
- Communication that does not match original wire instructions.
- Slight variations on an email address of the sender.
- Communication request via email only (without verbal instructions).
- Messages from the sender using incorrect spelling or odd phrases.
- Incoming phone call requests from an unfamiliar contact number.
- Request for urgent wire transfer after receiving an unexpected check from your client.
Wire fraud generally involves an attempt to defraud your firm, your client and could damage your reputation; therefore consider implementing the following:
Step 2: Preventative measures
- Ensure well-defined protocols are in place for all wire transfers.
- Initiate verbal authorization no matter the urgency of the request.
- Institute electronic security and authentication controls.
- Educate employees on the risks associated with phishing schemes.
- Refer back to your clients’ primary contact information.
- Regularly update spam filters and firewalls.
- Before initiating any wire transfer, always call your client.
Cyber criminal schemes are complex, convincing and creative. Protect yourself and your clients by verbally confirming all wire transfers prior to disbursement of funds.Read More
Lawyers’ Mutual is happy to close the 2019 year with a thank you to our members.
Along with this year’s 17% average rate decrease, Lawyers’ Mutual Board of Directors is proud to announce an 8%* dividend payment to our qualifying members.**
Lawyers’ Mutual appreciates your continued support; keep an eye out in November for the arrival of your dividend check.
Serving our members is at the core of everything we do, and we are very excited for what the future of our partnership holds with our members.
Our strength is your insurance.
*Dividends are paid at the sole discretion of the Company’s Board of Directors and past dividends do not guarantee the payment or amount of future dividends.
**Members of record as of November 1, 2019, who paid premium on a one-year policy with an effective date between November 1, 2017 and October 31, 2018.Read More
Last month we premiered “Family Law Fiascos – Avoiding Legal Malpractice Claims” (click now!.) As noted, family law attorneys are in the top three practice areas for malpractice claims. Estate planners are #4 according to the most recent ABA study. In our continuing efforts to help our members achieve their best practices, we are launching “Risk Management for Estate Planning Attorneys.” California Certified Specialist (Estate Planning, Trust & Probate and Taxation Law) John Hartog succinctly explains how to avoid the top ten mistakes in this practice field. Additionally, Mr. Hartog guides you through a challenging, but all too common scenario involving elderly clients, joint representation, multiple marriages, undue influence and competency issues. Click here now for 1.0 hrs. General Credit. As always, Lawyers’ Mutual’s on demand MCLE is free to our members.Read More