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Practices

Professional & Management LiabilityView Practice as PDF

Professional Liability

Any company or individual providing professional advice or acting as a service provider has concerns about Professional Liability/Errors and Omissions exposures. These concerns typically relate to liability or insurance coverage questions for claims alleging negligence in the performance of professional services, or for failing to render services that were agreed upon by contract. We have substantial experience providing litigation services for the following types of professionals
:


  • Accountants
  • Architects
  • Consultants
  • Engineers
  • Financial Institution Professionals
  • Insurance Brokers & Agents
  • Investment Advisors
  • Lawyers
  • Media Professionals
  • Medical, Dental and Allied Health Care Professionals
  • Miscellaneous Professionals Covered by E&O
  • Pharmacy Professionals
  • Real Estate Brokers & Agents
  • Securities Dealers
  • Social Service (Professionals)

 

Management Liability

Most organizations face liability and coverage issues arising from the day-to-management and oversight of their businesses. Principles, board members, and other top-level executives have a fiduciary obligation to their shareholders, limited partners and members to make sound business decisions and ensure that business is running smoothly. As we all know, sometimes claims of mismanagement arise requiring the need for a capable defense of corporate lawsuits. We provide experienced defense litigation for the following types of management personnel:
   


  • Directors & Officers Liability (D&O)
  • General Partnership Liability (GPL)
  • Employment Practices Liability (EPLI)
  • Outside Directorship Liability (ODL)
  • Trustee Liability
  • Independent Directors Liability

For more information about our Professional & Management Liability practice contact Tom Rice or Hal Meltzer in Kansas City at 816.471.2121. In St. Louis, contact Nate Leming or Richard Woolf at 314.345.5000.

News & Events

Douglas Hill Joins Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice in Kansas City

10.04.18 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome Douglas Hill as an attorney with the firm's Kansas City office. Hill is an experienced litigator, managing a diverse civil defense practice that includes professional negligence, product liability, industrial and job site injuries, and general business litigation. He has extensive experience representing ...

Thomas Rice Serves as Co-Chair of EPL/PL Program Hosted by ALFA International

03.18.16 | Thomas Rice is serving as co-chair of the upcoming program "Enlightening The EPL/PL World" jointly hosted by ALFA International's Insurance Law, Labor & Employment, and Professional Liability Practice Groups. A Steering Committee Member of the Insurance Law, Professional Liability and Labor & Employment Practice Groups, Mr. Rice is serving as co-chair on behalf of the Insurance Practice Group...

Thomas Rice Serves as Moderator For Cyber Liability and Data Breach Panel

03.18.16 | Thomas Rice will moderate a panel on cyber liability and data breaches in the workforce and related legal and ethical considerations for in-house counsel, corporate risk management and law firms. Panel members feature representatives from three different insurance companies with cyber liability expertise plus an attorney from ALFA International's Los Angeles, California member firm...

Thomas Rice Serving as Course Book Editor for Upcoming ALFA International Program

03.18.16 | Thomas Rice is serving as course book editor for the insurance track of the upcoming program "Enlightening the EPL/PL World" jointly hosted by ALFA International's Insurance Law, Labor & Employment, and Professional Liability Practice Groups.

Eisenberg to Serve as Course Book Editor for Upcoming ALFA EPLI Seminar

04.27.12 | BSCR attorney David Eisenberg is serving as the Course Book Editor for the 2012 ALFA International EPLI Seminar to be held in New York in June. The EPLI seminar is jointly sponsored by the Insurance, Labor & Employment and Professional Liability Practice Groups. . .

Rice to Speak on Professional Liability Issues at Chartis Seminar

06.03.10 | Tom Rice will be speaking at an upcoming Chartis in-house seminar to be held in New York on June 16. Tom's presentation will address "Avoiding Claims Against Officers and Directors".

Blog Posts

Missouri enacts significant changes affecting punitive damages and consumer protection claims

10.26.20 | With recent statutory changes, Missouri is taking meaningful steps to reform the state's punitive damages standards and consumer protection statute—two aspects of Missouri law that have made it one of the most plaintiff-friendly venues in the country.

Missouri House Approves Stricter Standards for Punitive Damages Claims

05.13.20 | In an update to a prior post, Senate Bill 591 (which seeks to impose stricter standards for the application of punitive damages) cleared The Missouri House on May 12, 2020 in a 98-51 vote. The Bill, now on its way to Governor Parson for his signature, will likely go into effect on August 28, 2020. Governor Parson is expected to sign the measure without veto.

Kansas City Area Saw Increase in Defense Verdicts in 2019, According to Annual Jury Data

03.02.20 | The data is out on Kansas City area jury verdicts for calendar year 2019, and it contains mostly good news for defendants. While the total number of jury verdicts was up slightly from 2018, the percentage of those verdicts in plaintiffs' favor was down, with nearly 60% of claims that went to a jury ending in a defense verdict. 2019 also saw a drop of almost 30% in the number of verdicts over $1 million. Although the data shows a rise in the average verdict amount, that increase is entirely attributable to a single mega verdict of more than $100 million; controlling for that outlier, the size of the average award was also down significantly.

Second Update: Hopping On The Missouri Bandwagon? Not So Fast Out Of State Litigants.

07.16.19 | SECOND UPDATE: Missouri Governor Mike Parson signs Senate Bill 7, which amends venue and joinder laws, to prevent out of state plaintiffs from litigating their cases in an inappropriate venue.

From the East to the West, Does Arbitration in Missouri Reign Best? Missouri Courts Uphold and Invalidate Arbitration Agreements

06.25.19 | Missouri has continued to hold that arbitration agreements are not unconscionable when they are shown to have valid mutual assent and are not self-serving.

Update: Hopping on the Missouri Bandwagon? Not so Fast Out-of-State Litigants.

05.20.19 | UPDATE: House Passes Senate Bill 7, in which the Missouri legislature seeks to amend venue and joinder laws, to prevent out of state plaintiffs from litigating their cases in an inappropriate venue.

In a case of first impression, the Appellate Court of Illinois allows counsel to withdraw previously disclosed testifying expert

04.12.19 | The Illinois Appellate Court, First District, held that a party may timely withdraw a previously disclosed testifying expert and redesignate said expert as a Rule 201(b)(3) consultant entitled to the consultant's privilege against disclosure absent exceptional circumstances.

Hopping on the Missouri Bandwagon? Not so Fast Out-of-State Litigants.

03.18.19 | In Senate Bill 7, the Missouri legislature seeks to amend venue and joinder laws, to prevent out of state plaintiffs from litigating their cases in an inappropriate venue.

City of St. Louis - Still A Judicial Hellhole

12.26.18 | Defense attorneys beware. The 2018-2019 American Tort Reform Foundation's (ATRF) Judicial Hellholes Report is out, and the City of St. Louis landed fourth on this list because of its massive verdicts, forum shopping, and legislative failures.

You've Got Mail - Service of Process by Mail is Satisfactory under the Hague Service Convention

05.30.17 | The United States Supreme Court ruled on May 22, 2017, that the Hague Convention, on the service of judicial documents abroad, permits service by mail if the receiving country has not objected to service by mail and service by mail is authorized under otherwise-applicable law.

The Daubert Standard - Coming Soon to a Missouri Court Near You

03.31.17 | Earlier this week, Governor Eric Greitens signed Missouri HB 153 into law. HB 153, which supplants Missouri's existing expert witness standard with that set forth in Federal Rules of Evidence 702, 703, 704 and 705, effectively submits expert testimony in most civil and criminal case to the analysis set forth in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993).

Federal Judges Blow Their Stacks Over Boilerplate Objections

03.27.17 | Within a two-week period, two federal judges issued strongly worded orders denouncing the common practice of asserting boilerplate objections to written discovery.

Mere Designation of an Expert Witness Does Not Waive the Work Product Doctrine Protections

11.02.16 | A Missouri plaintiff did not irrevocably waive the protections of the work product doctrine simply by designating an expert witness and then withdrawing the designation without disclosing the expert’s analysis or conclusions.

Out-of-State Injury/Plaintiff/Defendant - Or All of the Above

10.28.16 | If personal and subject matter jurisdiction are established, venue is proper in any county in Missouri in the absence of an express provision in RSMo § 508.010 restricting venue.

State ex rel. Heartland Title Services, Inc. v. The Honorable Kevin D. Harrell

10.05.16 | In a matter of first impression, the Missouri Supreme Court recently clarified that Missouri's venue statute must be read to allow venue (referring to the locale where the trial in a case can be held) in any Missouri county when requirements for both subject matter and personal jurisdiction are met.

"Excusable neglect" is a real standard requiring real evidence (Updated 01.04.2016)

01.04.16 | While a Kansas court may grant relief from a final judgment based on excusable neglect, it is an abuse of discretion to grant that relief when the party seeking that relief has failed either to explain what facts constituted excusable neglect or to provide any evidence to support that claim.

In a differential etiology, experts need not rule out all possible causes

06.23.14 | Experts are not required to rule out all possible causes when performing the differential etiology analysis if the experts have properly ruled in the alleged cause.

Punitive Damages Part 1: Don't Get Caught Flat-Footed

04.29.14 | A Kansas plaintiff may amend their pleadings to assert punitive damages up until the day of the pretrial conference.

Workers' Compensation + Retaliation + Missouri Supreme Court adopts the "contributing factor" standard

04.22.14 | A man who sued his former employer, alleging he was discharged in retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim, appealed on the basis that the trial court used a jury instruction with the wrong standard. In a 5-2 decision written by Judge George W. Draper III, the Missouri Supreme Court rejected the 'exclusive causation' standard and replaced it with the "contributing factor" standard. On remand and in future cases, the jury must determine whether the plaintiff's filing of a workers' compensation claim was a "contributing factor" to his or her discharge.

Kansas abolishes assumption of the risk defense.

04.21.14 | Based on its adoption of a statutory scheme of comparative negligence, Kansas has abolished common law assumption of the risk as a bar to recovery. Simmons v. Porter, 298 Kan. 299, 312 P3d 345, 355 (Kan. 2013).

A mundane lesson from an important decision, or, the importance of presenting evidence

03.20.14 | The plaintiff has the burden of proving standing, which is a jurisdictional issue that can be raised at any time.

No Signed Settlement Necessary, Except When It Is

02.25.14 | In Kansas, the parties bind themselves to an enforceable settlement, even though the parties contemplate subsequent execution of a formal instrument. However, when the parties specifically condition a contract on it being reduced to writing and signed, there is no enforceable contract until such act is accomplished.
 
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