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 ommissions are handled through the Alberta Lawyers Insurance Association (ALIA). All insured lawyers in the Northwest Territories are required to report to the Alberta Lawyers Insurance Association (ALIA) 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 discuss a claim or potential claim, please contact Lisa Sabo, Director of Insurance, at (403) 229-4717. You can also call ALIA toll-free: 1-800-661-1694.
To report a potential claim, use the Insurance Claim Report Form supplied by ALIA. Send your completed form to:
ATTN: Lisa Sabo, Director of Insurance
Alberta Lawyers Insurance Association
Suite 500, 919 - 11th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta T2R 1P3
Fax: (403) 244-3072
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 ALIA will not satisfy the reporting requirements of the excess coverage policy unless that excess coverage is through Canadian Lawyers Insurance Association.)
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. Keep to the facts and their significance. Advise that he or she 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 ALIA 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 ALIA or the solicitor appointed to act for you.