Ed’s People

In the State Bar meeting referred to in a recent post, I was the one who raised the issue … who are we talking about when we ask questions like "affordability" and "availability" of malpractice insurance? These folks were not mentioned by name … it’s the approximately 18% of the California Bar, 30,000, who have no malpractice insurance.  If we don’t mention them specifically, we can draw all kinds of conclusions … they’re not good lawyers, they’re marginal folks, they are the ones clogging the disciplinary system, etc.  Yet, there is no empirical data to this effect.

The Bar wants to survey lawyers to determine why they don’t have insurance (they’ll never send surveys to these people, I’ll bet!). They want to find out what lawyers think is affordable malpractice insurance … how much are you willing to pay to be covered against claims against you from clients. Response to this question should be interesting, though I’m not sure how illuminating, since the market place will govern anyway. And there seems to be no political will to create a mandatory State-wide program.

I was invited to join this group because of my original vocal opposition to the concept of forcing lawyers (these very same 30,000) to affirmatively tell their prospective clients (the word used is "disclose," as though it otherwise were a deep, hidden secret) that they have no malpractice insurance.

Someone referred to this group, after a bit of discussion, as "Ed’s People." I was flattered to be their representative. But, throughout the conversation, I think it was intended as a pejorative, as though these 30,000 lawyers were not successful … and perhaps didn’t deserve the same protection and service as other lawyers in the Bar. Rather, it is the "public" that  deserves the protection of the Bar. Who will preserve the rights of these 30,000, "Ed’s People?"

Am I being paranoid?


Categorized in: