Don’t Depend on Your Malpractice Insurer for a First Rate Engagement Agreement

In the past, I’ve griped about the circa 1970s bar association retainer agreements that abound on the Internet. In fact, that’s one of the peeves that spurred me to put together my ebook, The Art, Science and Ethics of the 21st Century Retainer Agreement .

Still, bar associations are perpetually underfunded, so I’m willing to give them a pass. What’s worse is when malpractice providers don’t offer plan members up to date representation agreements. But I found that to be the case with one insurance company, whose form engagement agreement was decidedly 19th Century.

ALPS, another insurer, is no different.  Its ebook on Starting A Solo Practice doesn’t cover the kind of information that today’s agreements need to have – from clauses relating to cloud computing, flat fees, credit card payments, outsourcing and social media use. To be fair, however, ALPS’ book does include some good website disclaimers as a hat tip to current day standards.

Let’s face it – drafting high quality, standard representation agreements can be costly and involve some expertise and no one wants to spend money on solos and smalls. I get that.  But since the companies and organizations that purport to serve solos and smalls aren’t doing the job, I’ve stepped in to do it for them.  Though my My Art, Science and Ethics of the 21st Century Retainer has been on sale for a long time and can be purchased here , for those who’d rather not pay the full book price, I’ve made the cut and paste clauses, web disclaimers and word-forms available separately here. Essentially, the cut and paste clauses cover all of the topics in the book, which are listed here.

The representation agreement is one of the most important contracts you’ll ever sign. Protect yourself by ensuring that your agreement covers the issues that matter to a 21st Century practice.