All lawyers in the NWT who are in private practice or are not otherwise exempt from purchasing insurance for errors and omissions are insured through the Canadian Lawyers Insurance Association. Fees are set by CLIA annually and members may choose to pay the fees all at once or in two installments. Information about CLIA and the services they provide can be found here: http://www.clia.ca/
FILING A CLAIM REPORT
In the Northwest Territories all claims for errors and omissions are handled through the Canadian Lawyers Insurance Association (CLIA). All insured lawyers in the Northwest Territories are required to report to CLIA as soon as possible after learning of a claim or becoming aware of circumstances that might give rise to a claim. The policy is a ‘claims made’ policy, meaning lawyers must report all claims or potential claims during the policy period.
To report a potential claim, use the Insurance Claim Report Form supplied by CLIA. Send your completed form by email to Cathy or Dave. You can also courier your claim to CLIA at:
Canadian Lawyers Insurance Association
Suite 1530, 2002 Victoria Avenue
Regina, Saskatchewan, S4P 0R7
A copy of your report must also be filed with the Law Society of the Northwest Territories.
NOTE: If you carry excess insurance coverage over the $1,000,000 mandatory coverage, you should consult the excess coverage policy regarding the required procedures. A report to CLIA may not satisfy the reporting requirements of the excess coverage policy unless that excess coverage is also through CLIA.
ADVISING THE CLIENT
If they are not aware already, it is important to advise your client of the situation. Explain the problem to the client in person and in the presence of a witness. Identify in what way you may have harmed him or her and why. Stick to the facts and their significance. Advise that the client get independent legal advice about the situation, and confirm this advice in writing.
It is important, at this stage, that you do not admit liability and do not mention insurance.
OPENING A FILE
You should open a separate file for correspondence on this subject with CLIA or the solicitor appointed to act for you. If you turn over papers to your former client or his/her solicitor, keep copies of ALL such documents for the use of CLIA or the solicitor appointed to act for you.