Seminar ID: 109700

The Ethics of Hold Harmless and Indemnification

The Ethics of Hold Harmless and Indemnification

What, me worry?

In 1952, Americans were introduced to the fictional character Alfred E. Neuman in Mad magazine. Since that time, the carefree, and often reckless attitude of Mr. Neuman is characterized by the phrase, “What, Me Worry?” To some extent, this slaphappy attitude persists in our legal landscape today as attorneys attempt to deal with the scan-dalon known as the Medicare Secondary Payer Act. In order to avoid these issues, it has become common practice to place hold harmless/indemnification clauses in settlement agreements in an attempt to expedite the settlement process. As a result, state and local bar associations have taken note along with lawyer professional responsibility boards. This white paper reviews recent ethics decisions regarding these matters and highlights efforts in West Virginia to limit the use of such agreements.