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Insurance Law

Legal Practice Board Certification

By | Blog, Business Law, Insurance Law, Medical Malpractice | No Comments

Board CertificationProfessional practice requires relevant accreditation or board certification, and legal practice is not devoid of these approvals. Currently, it is a requirement that before a lawyer is allowed to practice he or she must be licensed by the relevant authority. Aside from the federal or government oversight bodies, there are independent institutions, such as the National Board of Trial Advocacy, that certifies lawyers.

Board Certification Process

What does board certified mean? Before an individual is recognized by the board as a certified attorney, the candidate is subject to a comprehensive scrutiny process by the relevant committee. This is to ensure that experienced and credible lawyers are accredited. For the applicant to be certified they must:

  • Avail all the relevant documentation ranging from academic to professional to government clearance certificates.
  • Provide references from reputable practicing peers who are certified by the board and in good standing.
  • Sit through board certification exams.
  • Appear before the board certification committee.

After approval the member must abide by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification (NBLSC) rules and at all time engage the board indulgence while practicing. The certified lawyer is closely monitored by the standards committee to ensure he or she upholds professionalism at all times.

Advantages of employing services of a NBLSC certified attorney

The board certification offers immense benefits to both the practicing lawyers and their prospective clients. There have been upsurges of rogue lawyers who offer substandard services or defraud their clients – most commonly for legal compensation lawsuits. To ensure that you work with the right attorney who will ensure your interests are taken care of and served professionally, it is a wise  to engage lawyers who hold board certification credentials.

Also, it is worth noting that the board has systems in place to receive complaints, settle disputes and discipline members who do not adhere to the required practicing etiquette. Since most of the certified lawyers regard accreditation from such institutions like the National Board of Trial Advocacy in esteem, they will always try to comply with the set standards.

The board has ensured the members are continually educated and equipped with the latest developments in legal practice across the board. The certified attorney must sit various continuous assessment exams geared to make sure that the legal experts sharpen their skills. Consequently, their clients can be assured of competent and high quality legal services. It is vital to grasp that the certificates are renewed after every five years and are only issued after an in-depth valuation of the lawyers conduct over the expired duration.

Going by testimonies of various persons it is a fact that you will draw immense benefits from a certified attorney. At Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville & Larson, we understand the challenges of dealing with legal issues and we are here to help. Give us a call and we will be happy to answer all your questions. Call us today at (414) 273-1144.

FDIC Changes for 2013

By | Insurance Law | No Comments

In our current economy, it’s common for people to have questions regarding their financial savings and to obtain the comfort of being reassured that their money is protected. Beginning in 2013, the FDIC has made some changes. We wanted to take a moment to explain exactly what the FDIC does and what recent changes have been made.

What Is The FDIC?

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is an independent agency of the federal government. The FDIC was created in 1933 as a result of the thousands of banks which failed during the 1920s and early 1930s. Their mission is to promote and maintain the publics confidence in the United States financial system. They do this by insuring deposits in banks and thrift institutions up to and including $250,000. Not one depositor has lost a single penny of their insured funds, as a result of a failure, since the FDIC insurance began on January 1, 1934.

The FDIC does not receive any Congressional appropriations and is solely funded by premiums that banks and thrift institutions pay for deposit insurance coverage and from earnings on investments in United States Treasury securities. Currently, the FDIC insures approximately $9 trillion of deposits in virtually every bank and thrift across the country.

FDIC Changes 2013

NOTICE OF CHANGES IN TEMPORARY FDIC INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR NON-INTEREST BEARING TRANSACTION ACCOUNTS

Unless there is a change in federal law, beginning January 1, 2013, funds deposited in “non-interest bearing transaction accounts” no longer will receive unlimited deposit insurance coverage by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Beginning January 1, 2013, all of a depositor’s accounts, including all “non-interest bearing transaction accounts”, will be insured by the FDIC up to the standard maximum deposit insurance amount ($250,000), for each deposit insurance ownership category.

The term “noninterest-bearing transaction account” includes a traditional checking account or demand deposit account on which the insured depository institution pays no interest. It also includes Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTAs). It does not include other accounts such as traditional checking or demand deposit accounts that may earn interest, NOW accounts and money-market deposit accounts.

For more information, visit http://www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/unlimited/expiration.html

Accountable Care Organizations and Medical Professional Liability: What's the Connection?

By | Blog, Insurance Law, Medical Malpractice | One Comment

As attorneys who represent a variety of clients from the medical and insurance industries, we at Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville & Larson find it interesting when a topic surfaces that combines the two.

With the election year being in full swing and health care being one of the main topics, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is being debated at great length. While the details of the act remain a mystery to most of the public, there are a few aspects that have increased awareness regarding patient protection.

Through the PPACA (otherwise known as Obamacare), accountable care organizations (ACOs) are being developed in order to increase the quality of health care services available to patients. Each ACO groups together health care providers including primary care physicians, specialists, nurses and hospitals and gives them a financial budget from which to collectively care for a patient. The goal is to achieve better coordination among the groups and eliminate unnecessary treatments through a more streamlined health care process. If the financial goals are achieved, the savings are shared among the care providers. According to the PPACA, the expectation is that integrating care will increase productivity and decrease expenses leading to favorable outcomes for both the providers and the patients.

While we’ll leave the politics and our opinion aside, we will talk about how this relates to the insurance companies who focus on medical professional liability (MPL). With the ACO structure, health care providers will be integrating their procedures, meaning that MPL policy writers would have to account for changes in the frequency and severity of claims when pricing coverage. If the coordinated care does what it is designed to do, medical errors would decrease and standards of care would increase. One would decrease claims while the other could increase them, and policy writers would have to account for the change in frequency and nature.

There also is the potential for claims from patients to increase due to the number of “non-critial” procedures that will be eliminated through the ACO process. With cost and time savings being the goal, more exploratory tests and exams would be eliminated, which could potentially lead to more claims filed by patients if they are misdiagnosed.

Some industry analysts theorize that as ACOs look to control costs and consolidate efforts, many insurance companies could suffer as niche markets take a backseat by being incorporated into larger programs. Those smaller companies who focus on certain geographical locations also could be at risk as the coverage is rolled into greater policies.

At Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville & Larson, we are experienced in both medical malpractice defense and insurance defense, which is why we find this process particularly interesting. Truly, changes in the industry are taking place, and we need to pay close attention this fall as our nation’s leadership is determined. The result of this presidential election will most likely determine whether or not these trends remain moving forward or are stopped altogether. Either way, it should be interesting.

For now, however, know that we at Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville & Larson will continue to keep providing excellent representation to you whether you are a health care provider, medical insurance professional or any number of our clients in other areas. Our goal is to simply keep doing our job and roll with the laws as they change making sure we know what they are and how to handle them.

For a free case evaluation, call us today!