Plaintiff attorney was involved in a business venture in China, for which he served as both an attorney and the venture's senior manager. A dispute arose, causing the attorney to sue the Chinese venture. The Chinese venture, in turn, counterclaimed against the attorney. The plaintiff attorney then sued the defendant insurer, claiming that the defendant must indemnify the plaintiff based on a lawyer's professional liability insurance policy.
The court affirmed the trial court's order for summary judgment against the plaintiff. Because the professional liability insurance does not cover claims arising from a relationship that was not attorney-client, it did not cover the counterclaim which was solely based on the plaintiff's status as a manager of the project.
The connection between this case and Asia is a wee bit thin, but I thought it would be nice to put it up as a warning sign for my fellow attorneys. Beware, attorneys, beware! Your malpractice insurance will not protect you from lawsuits arising from your side projects, even if you serve as the attorney for the side project.
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