Lawyers Mutual 2009 Annual Report President's Message

"I am excited to be part of a company with such great people and history of serving North Carolina attorneys."

I am very excited to be part of a great company with such a long history of providing outstanding service to North Carolina attorneys. I am not aware of any other company that can claim that they have been serving North Carolina attorneys continuously for 32 years. While I may be a new face to Lawyers Mutual, our senior management team is well tenured at Lawyers Mutual, and we want to assure you that we remain committed to North Carolina attorneys..

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ERISA Subrogation Claim Update

Lawyers continue to be plagued by ERISA subrogation claims. In a recent case out of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, The Longaberger Company v. Kolt, 586 F.3d 459 (2009), an ERISA Plan brought an action against the Plan beneficiary and his lawyer to recover the Plan’s payment. The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of the Plan and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. In essence, the lawyer was required to disgorge his fee that had been collected and spent prior to the filing of the lawsuit by the Plan.

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Serving on the Board of Directors - Are You Aware of the Risks?

Many of our insureds serve as directors on the boards of various private and nonprofit institutions throughout the state. These lawyers are able to offer valuable insight and legal expertise to the board. Often times, lawyers are asked to serve as a director with the expectation that they will provide legal advice to the board. Serving in this dual role of legal advisor and board member can have detrimental consequences. Before accepting a position as a director, a lawyer should carefully consider the potential risks and do everything possible to protect himself and his firm.

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