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The Ethical Pitfalls in Practice: Legal Malpractice Theories of Liability, Defenses, and Proactive Risk Avoidance

Produced on September 23, 2018

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Course Information

Time 75 minutes
Difficulty Beginner
Categories Ethics

Course Description

Attorneys, regardless of their experience, should recognize and evaluate their legal risk to avoid damaging ethical violations and costly malpractice lawsuits. This course will examine the rules of professional conduct and most common sources of legal malpractice, the main elements of legal malpractice claims and related causes of action, the common defenses to these claims and the steps one should proactively take in your practice to minimize ethical violations and risks of claims.

The course will provide the prospective of Kristopher M. Dennis and Robert J. Pariser, who combined have over 35 years of experience in both defending and prosecuting attorneys in legal malpractice claims. The course will also consider basic practice management steps that could assist in avoiding ethical violations and subsequent legal malpractice claims.   


Learning Objectives:

  1. Review an attorney’s ethical obligations, the violation of which can lead to malpractice claims
  2. Examine basic theories of liability against attorneys, and unique exposure to liability in specific practice areas
  3. Develop strategies for maintaining compliance with an attorney's duty of care, in addition to other basic risk management for attorneys


This course originally appeared as a part of our September 2018 Bridge the Gap Event.

Credit Information

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Faculty

Kristopher M. Dennis

The Law Office of Kristopher M. Dennis

Founded in January 2014, The Law Office of Kristopher M. Dennis is located in the heart of the Financial District, and handles matters throughout the Five Boroughs, Long Island and Westchester.

Kristopher, born and raised in Staten Island, New York, is an experienced attorney that has successfully litigated and handled appeals, in State and Federal Courts, involving diverse practice areas, including, but not limited, to legal malpractice, miscellaneous professional liability, insurance coverage, personal injury, employment law, accountants professional liability, commercial litigation, business disputes and construction law. Prior to opening his own practice Kristopher was a partner in a national insurance defense firm where he successfully defended professionals, was involved in drafting insurance policies and representing insurers in insurance coverage matters. Kristopher has represented the London Insurance Market in connection with several high profile and high exposure matters, including the New England Teamsters’ Pension Fund litigation, IPO Laddering litigation and the Lernout & Hauspie-related litigation.

Kristopher has been a contributing author to the course-book for the Bi-Annual New York State Bar Association’s Legal Malpractice Litigation and Risk Management Seminar (2003, 2005 and 2007), has been a featured speaker at the New York City Bar “Bridge-the-Gap” Program on the topics, “Identifying and Responding to Professional Liability Claims” and “Loss Prevention for Lawyers and Law Firms” and has presented for Strafford Webinars. Kristopher has been involved in several reported professional liability cases and has provided presentations to insurance industry clients on various professional liability topics including the “Sub-prime Mortgage Crisis,” “General Counsel Liability-LPL Claims Against Employed Lawyers,” and “Bankruptcy and Lawyer Liability.”  



Robert J. Pariser

Lydecker | Diaz

Robert J. Pariser is a member of the national firm of Lydecker | Diaz. He was formerly an equity partner at an AMLaw100 law firm where he practiced in the areas of employment, real estate law, and professional liability defense. Robert has extensive civil litigation experience and handles cases from inception through trial. He also handles disputes against various design professionals (A&E).

Earlier in Robert’s career, he was selected to serve a six month domestic secondment at a large professional liability insurer where he served as claims counsel. During this period of time, Robert oversaw outside defense and coverage counsel, made coverage decisions, authorized settlements and attended mediations.

Robert has defended nursing homes on claims related to negligent care to its residents, including decubitus claims.

Robert has been named to SuperLawyers Rising Star for Professional Liability Defense NY Metro from 2011-2017, SuperLawyers for Professional Liability Defense NY Metro 2018 and has 27 Reported Decisions largely all legal malpractice.