Litigation & Appeals

Professional Liability Litigation

Stites & Harbison has a 150-year history of engaging in litigation involving allegations of professional liability defense or misconduct. And, in recent history, the need for professionals to represent other professionals has never been greater. At Stites & Harbison, we do just that on a daily basis.

We invest significant time and resources in understanding the practices and duties unique to each profession. Some of these professions include attorneys, accountants, auditors, counselors, land surveyors, travel agents, debt collectors, engineers, architects, construction professionals, bankers, real estate professionals, structural inspectors, appraisers, title agents, public officials, crop dusters, mortgage brokers, financial advisors, directors and officers, insurance agents and brokers, and the insurance industry as a whole. Often these cases overlap with litigation involving the financial services industry, and we handle these types of claims almost every day.

We also aid professionals in actions before administrative agencies or professional boards, and work with professionals when incidents occur to mitigate or eliminate potential liability.

In context of civil suits, our work begins long before a complaint is filed. First, we push to prevent filing altogether through argument and, if merited, we aim for negotiation. When complaints are filed, clients can count on aggressive, effective, and efficient representation.

We have also assisted insurers in coverage disputes with their insureds under professional liability policies.

The attorneys of our professional liability team frequently publish and lecture on issues related to ethics, professional liability and trial practice. Members of our group also participate in a number of bar-related activities and roles, including:

  • the former Chairman of the Kentucky Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section,
  • the former President of the Kentucky Chapter of the Federal Bar Association,
  • the former President of the Kentucky Defense Counsel, and
  • the former Chairman of DRI's Professional Liability Committee's Steering Committee.

Other team members are active in DRI, the Kentucky Defense Counsel, the Professional Liability Underwriting Society, the ABA's Professional Liability Litigation Committee, and the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers.

Experience

  • We recently obtained summary judgment for a prosecutor on the issue of absolute immunity, which was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Originally engaged as trial counsel and retained throughout the process, we obtained a positive outcome in a legal malpractice case in which the Kentucky Supreme Court provided much-needed analysis on Kentucky’s "case within the case" requirements.
  • We recently briefed, argued, and obtained a successful result from the Kentucky Supreme Court affirming twice, the summary judgment we secured for a lawyer client involving the assignment of a claim against him.
  • We have obtained multiple summary judgments for attorney clients. The two most recent were defending malicious prosecution actions against lawyers. Another involved allegedly negligent advice in the sale of a business, in which we successfully argued lack of "but for" causation. That case was affirmed on appeal.
  • In another matter involving the failure to bring suit on an assault at a correctional institution, we secured judgment on seven separate grounds; all finding there was no viable "case within a case."
  • Our lawyers have obtained summary judgments for architects and engineers based on the "government contractor" defense. These victories, to our knowledge, were the first of their kind in Kentucky.
  • On the eve of trial in a recent and complex accountant malpractice case, we successfully deployed a Daubert challenge to convince the trial court to exclude the plaintiff's sole expert witness.
  • After being contacted by an insurance carrier about a potential claim against one of its insured attorneys, we were able to convince the claimant's counsel that the attorney not only should not be sued, but was owed a significant amount of money by his former client.
Main Contact
See more related to Professional Liability Litigation
Press Releases

Robert Connolly Elected to The Nature Conservancy Board of Trustees

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Nature Conservancy recently elected Stites & Harbison, PLLC Chair, Robert M. Connolly, to its Board of Trustees of the Kentucky Chapter.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC May 08, 2020
Press Releases

Chambers USA 2020 Honors 19 Stites & Harbison Attorneys

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Chambers USA selected 19 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in Kentucky and Tennessee for inclusion in their 2020 guide.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC May 05, 2020
Press Releases

Lauren Paxton Roberts honored as Nashville Bar Foundation Fellow

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The Nashville Bar Foundation recently named Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Lauren Paxton Roberts as a Fellow.

by Lauren Paxton Roberts April 27, 2020
Press Releases

Ashley Ward Inducted as Fellow of American College of Trial Lawyers

LEXINGTON, Ky. —Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Ashley W. Ward was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) on March 7, 2020, at the Annual Meeting in Tucson, Ariz.

by Ashley W. Ward March 18, 2020
Press Releases

Stites & Harbison elects three attorneys to Management Committee

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC recently elected three members to the firm’s six-member Management Committee, replacing three attorneys who completed their terms of service. The new committee members are attorneys Erika Barnes, Carol Dan Browning and Richard Wehrle.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC March 05, 2020
Client Alerts

Tennessee Supreme Court Upholds $750,000 Statutory Cap on Non-Economic Damages in Civil Cases

The Tennessee Supreme Court, in an opinion published February 26, 2020, upheld Tennessee’s statutory cap on noneconomic damages in civil cases, codified at Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-39-102, which generally limits noneconomic damages, including pain and suffering, permanent injury, and loss of enjoyment of life, to $750,000.

by Lauren Paxton Roberts, J. Anne Tipps, and Rachel Dix Bishop March 04, 2020
Press Releases

Demetrius Holloway appointed to Kentucky Personnel Board

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Governor Andy Beshear appointed Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Demetrius Holloway to the Kentucky Personnel Board to serve a term expiring January 1, 2024.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC February 11, 2020
Press Releases

Stites & Harbison Promotes Six Attorneys

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC announced that six attorneys have been promoted within the law firm effective January 2020.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC January 07, 2020
Press Releases

Emily Larish Startsman selected for Leadership Lexington's Class of 2019-20

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Leadership Lexington has selected Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Emily Larish Startsman as a member of the 2019-20 Leadership Lexington program.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC September 03, 2019