Practices  |  Litigation

Professional Liability Defense


Wiley Rein has extensive experience defending lawyers, accountants, and other professionals against malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, and other claims, in state and federal courts nationwide. Our experienced lawyers act as both lead trial counsel and appellate counsel in handling these complex claims. We also provide legal ethics advice and counseling to lawyers and law firms and represent lawyers in connection with disciplinary matters. We recognize the unique and often personal nature of these claims, and we employ a tailored, thoughtful approach in handling these matters to obtain the best possible result for our clients.

Recent representative matters include the following:

  • As appellate counsel, obtained a decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court (on certified question from the Second Circuit) that the statute of repose barred a claim against an insurance adjuster arising from the adjuster’s work in connection with hurricane property damage in Florida. The decision will be an important precedent for professionals and other defendants regarding the continuing course of conduct and related wrongful act doctrines. Essex Ins. Co. v. William Kramer & Assocs., LLC, 205 A.3d 534 (Conn. 2019). Richard A. Simpson’s oral argument in the Connecticut Supreme Court may be heard here (October 16, 2018).
  • Acted as lead counsel for Professor Alan Dershowitz in a highly publicized defamation case in state court in Florida, which was resolved in April 2016 with the parties issuing a Joint Statement in which the opposing parties withdrew the allegations against Professor Dershowitz.
  • Prevailed on motion to dismiss a claim asserted against a New York law firm alleging millions of dollars of damages arising from an underlying securities transaction, with the court holding that the claims were barred both by the doctrine of in pari delicto and judicial estoppel (2017).
  • Prevailed on a motion to dismiss claims seeking damages in excess of $10 million asserted against a lawyer in his capacity as a chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee (2017).
  • As counsel retained for proceedings in the North Carolina Supreme Court in a case important to the accounting profession, obtained a grant of discretionary review and then reversal of an intermediate appellate court decision holding that an auditor may owe a fiduciary duty to the audit client as a matter of law. CommScope Credit Union v. Butler & Burke, LLP, 790 S.E.2d 657 (N.C. Sept. 23, 2016).

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Richard A. Simpson
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