An Important Message to Our Clients and Prospective Clients
You may have noticed the “S.C.” in our firm name. It means Service Corporation, and it indicates that we are a corporation organized under a special part of Wisconsin’s corporation laws for use only by professionals, such as doctors, dentists, accountants, lawyers, and others who provide professional services. A service corporation, like most other corporations, is a “limited liability” entity because its shareholders normally are not personally responsible for the debts and obligations of the corporation.
The corporation is responsible for its debts and obligations, but the shareholders are not – they have “limited liability.” But here are two exceptions to this general rule of limited liability that are unique to service corporations. A shareholder in a service corporation may be held personally responsible for his or her own errors in providing professional services and for the errors of other professionals under his or her direct supervision.
Until recently, shareholders in service corporations could be held personally responsible for all other shareholders, even those who were not under their direct supervision. This was known as “vicarious liability” a recent change in the law has eliminated vicarious liability for shareholders of service corporations. A service corporation is still legally responsible for the errors of its employees, as are shareholders who make errors or directly supervise others who make errors. That part of the law has not changed. Only the vicarious liability was eliminated.
The Supreme Court of Wisconsin, which makes the rules that regulate all lawyers in this state, recently established certain rules for all law firms that are service corporations (and some other kinds of law firms, too). We are pleased to let you know we have complied with all of the rules. These rules include letting you know about the changes in the law we just described to you, registering annually with the State Bar of Wisconsin, maintaining certain minimum levels of insurance to protect clients in case of errors in performing legal services, and having the firm name reflect that it is a “limited liability” entity. We have long maintained much more than the minimum insurance levels required by the new rule, so we have had to make no change in comply. And because we already have “S.C.” in our firm name, we will not have to change that, either.
At Westmont Law Offices, S.C. we are committed to proving you with high quality, professional service. The recent change in the law, and the new Supreme Court Rule, will not change our commitment to that goal or the way we serve your needs. For us, our high quality service remains unchanged.
Please feel free to ask any of the lawyers in the firm you regularly deal with if there is anything in this notice you do not understand.
At some time in your life, you will need a lawyer’s services. How do you know whom to hire? Where do you go to get quality service, sound advice and legal help, all at a price you can afford? Westmont Law Offices, S.C.
Participating Attorneys of the AARP Legal Services Network