Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

is med mal defense more lucrative than general liability or labor law?

Like, do med mal firms pay more on average than GL or labor prestiiigiousone02/10/17
Med mal pays a little bit more than GL but usually not by mu karlfarbman02/10/17
I mean labor law like in construction defense, like if this prestiiigiousone02/10/17
That isn't labor law. That is described below. Jd4hire is karlfarbman02/10/17
ID firms handle any type of matters they can get their hands jd4hire02/10/17
one caveat to construction litigation. In my state, construc jackiechiles02/14/17
karlfarbman is dead on. One additional piece, while med jd4hire02/10/17
I'm very interested in legal professional liability...unfort prestiiigiousone02/10/17
Don't know of any firms that only do legal malpractice defen jd4hire02/10/17
You're right, most firms who do it often also do general lia prestiiigiousone02/10/17
In NY, "Labor Law" has two meanings and most people actually notiers02/13/17
Thanks. This was informative. prestiiigiousone02/15/17
prestiiigiousone (Feb 10, 2017 - 10:12 am)

Like, do med mal firms pay more on average than GL or labor law firms do after several years? Or is it about the same?

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karlfarbman (Feb 10, 2017 - 10:29 am)

Med mal pays a little bit more than GL but usually not by much and it may or may not be significantly more work/stress. Some firms are doing both anyways in which case you'll be towards the upper end of the spectrum. Labor law is completely different and I have no idea how to make the comparison. I believe a lot of employment law defense and labor dispute/contracts are done by biglaw or at least something only a little below biglaw so you're probably getting paid pretty well. On the plaintiff side of labor law (as in employment law claims) I'm sure it varies widely based on the firm's clientele and success.

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prestiiigiousone (Feb 10, 2017 - 10:36 am)

I mean labor law like in construction defense, like if this is thought of as "better" than slip and falls/auto accidents.

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karlfarbman (Feb 10, 2017 - 11:57 am)

That isn't labor law. That is described below. Jd4hire is accurate although from what I have seen construction defense, assuming you mean professional liability that includes major property claims, is above med mal in billing rates on average and thus likely to pay higher. Personal injury from construction issues is more likely part of premises liability, albeit often higher end policies. In general, the more expert knowledge outside of law that is required and expenses therefrom, the higher the ID area pays, bearing in mind even basic slip and falls can produce huge medical bills and high value cases- the carrier just won't be paying you any higher a rate than it would for the sprained ankle cases. If a potential lawsuit is going to require lots of technical discovery and experts opining on the issues, the more expensive costs will be and the less likely an attorney/business will bring the case unless it is truly worth something. Which in turn means a lot will be at stake for the ins. co. and they will pay more to defend it.

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jd4hire (Feb 10, 2017 - 11:47 am)

ID firms handle any type of matters they can get their hands on and bill. You'll see some ID firms who do med-mal and may have an auto carrier they do work for. My ID firm will defend just about anything a carrier wants to send if they are willing to pay acceptable rates.

Notwithstanding, there is some hierarchy to the type of ID defense and in my opinion from my experience thus far is as follows:

Soft Tissue Auto Accidents and Slip and Falls (remember you can get a dram shop auto accident with multiple wrongful death claims); general liability/ CGL policies (still can include slip and falls); construction litigation (can include soft tissue here to, but more often have "real" injuries); medical malpractice; employment law (errors and omission/ D&O/ EPLI).

There are also all sorts of random lines of business - admiralty insurance defense for commercial fishermen and women; municipal liability (can include standard sidewalk trip and falls with soft tissue up to s. 1983 police liability; judicial insurance (have been involved in representing judges before); and anything else.

Labor law refers to Union/ Management work - grievances, arbitrations, CBAs, etc. This can be very lucrative.

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jackiechiles (Feb 14, 2017 - 9:06 am)

one caveat to construction litigation. In my state, construction litigation normally involves more defect litigation than injury. Like a building or development has leaks and they claim your client's work is the cause of the leak. Normally this involves every subcontractor that ever stepped foot onto the property, attending 10 or more depos, and then settling for much more than you should because no jury will ever comprehend the flashing installation instructions for a window.

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jd4hire (Feb 10, 2017 - 12:01 pm)

karlfarbman is dead on.

One additional piece, while med-mal is "professional liability" there are lots of other professional liability matters. Generally, professional liability is the defense of any profession that requires a license to work.

This can be medical providers (PAs, RNs, RNAs, etc.) but also includes realtors, attorneys (my favorite cases are defending legal malpractice matters), appraisers, CPAs (I hate accounting malpractice matters - they make my head hurt), pilots, etc.

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prestiiigiousone (Feb 10, 2017 - 12:25 pm)

I'm very interested in legal professional liability...unfortunately I haven't been able to get an interview for one of those positions.

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jd4hire (Feb 10, 2017 - 1:16 pm)

Don't know of any firms that only do legal malpractice defense. This is consistent with my above statements - random ID firms do them based on which carriers they do work for and which panels they can get approved for.

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prestiiigiousone (Feb 10, 2017 - 1:27 pm)

You're right, most firms who do it often also do general liability and med mal, for instance. But often the position offered is for one specific area.

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notiers (Feb 13, 2017 - 7:04 pm)

In NY, "Labor Law" has two meanings and most people actually think "construction accident" and not Labor/management disputes when someone says "labor law" in NY. In NY the Labor Law under Sections 240 and 241 yield some of the largest personal injury verdicts and settlements each year. Insurance policies for construction companies are very expensive and are usually 2 million limits with umbrellas. Because there is more money at stake - the rates are a tad higher. And as a result - the defense firms and attorneys that handle that work are usually a little "better" than the ones doing slip and falls. If you are doing exclusively "labor law" in NY you can probably command a bit more money than a general liability associate and the pay for an associate doing Med Mal or Labor Law in NY is pretty comparable.

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prestiiigiousone (Feb 15, 2017 - 1:42 pm)

Thanks. This was informative.

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