Cloning John Lennon?

Tooth A dentist bought a molar for over $30,000 at an auction in 2011. What’s so special about this particular molar is that it belonged to John Lennon and the dentist, Michael Zuk, has big plans for this bit of discolored ivory. He plans to extract DNA from the tooth. His objective is to clone the legendary musician, as reported recently in the Guardian.

The story behind this famous molar unfolds like a far side cartoon, when in the mid 1960’s, John Lennon reportedly gave the extracted tooth to his housekeeper. She in turn, gifted it to her daughter, a big Beatles’ fan. It stayed in the family until November 2011 when it was sold at auction.

At the time of the auction, the tooth was reportedly too fragile to be DNA tested to confirm that it actually belonged to Lennon. But as reported by Rolling Stone, the owner of the Omega Auction House which listed the item, verified that because it was coming from Dot Jarlett, Lennon’s housekeeper, there was no doubt about its authenticity?

This isn’t the first time the dental industry has imposed itself on the affairs of the late Beatle. Paste Magazine reports, that it was George Harrison’s dentist who first introduced the two Beatles, and their wives, to LSD when he slipped the drug into their coffee cups during a dinner party (Strawberry Fields Forever).

From Lennon’s Tooth to a Lennon

As far as the cloning is concerned, the question is, can it be done? The answer is yes. The procedure was first illustrated by a Brit, John Gurdon using frogs; just about the time the Beatles began their career. Later, in the 1990s, Ian Wilmut of Edinburgh used a similar technique to clone a sheep. So cloning technology is available and standardized. The clone of Lennon, produced today, would be genetically the same Beatle John Lennon. Still the process is like walking on thin ice.

Setting aside the ethical controversy related to human cloning, there are some additional obstacles. First is the fact that John Lennon was more than a product of his parents. His experience, education, environment – these all influenced the development of his character, his talents and the legacy he left us.

Second, there are the tricky tasks in preparing for the actual cloning procedure, like harvesting DNA from the tooth, converting tissue cells into stem cells and then transforming those cells into a re-born Lennon.

In light of all of this you’d think the molar owner and dentist, Michael Zuk, would be dissuaded. But he remains fixed on his goal, saying that he hopes to “fully sequence” Lennon’s DNA. He’s seeking headlines by putting out a press release and launching a website revealing that this ambitious dream might just be one of the “best decisions of my (his) life.”

Making a Good Decision

As an independent agent, when you contact Pat Moore Insurance Services, you’re making a good decision and a sound choice.  We’ve got you covered when it comes to errors and omissions for architects, engineers, lawyers, accountants, tech & media and healthcare professionals because malpractice liability is all we do and as a result, we’re really good at it.  We have deep insurance knowledge, offer access to key markets and have top rated carriers in all states.  We’re experts with hard-to-place clients so get a professional liability quote today by calling Kaycie Berley at (800) 214-9294 x228 or send submissions to submissions@patmooreins.com.  Call today!

P.S.  Ask about our cyber coverage!

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8 Tips to Avoid Malpractice Claims

Communication

word spelled out in open dictionary

In most areas of law practice, problems with lawyer-client communications are the number one cause of malpractice claims, followed closely by basic deadline and time management issues. From a claims prevention point of view, Dan Pinnington of Attorney at Work suggests attorneys get more for their risk management efforts by focusing on improving client communications and getting things done on time.

With this advice in mind, here are a few more recommendations for your clients from our claims department to help you steer them clear of a malpractice suit.  Remind your attorney clients to:

  1. Screen out cases with poor liability, early. These tend to be the cases where a statute of limitations is missed
  2. Remember that any error that they wish to argue on appeal, needs to be properly presented and preserved in the record of the trial court proceedings
  3. They shouldn’t take a case when they don’t have either adequate time or capital to take it to its completion
  4. Solo attorneys should arrange to have access to a mentor attorney with whom they can talk over new legal and practical case control problems
  5. If they are not practicing in a partnership, they need to make their independent status clear to clients and make sure that any associates do so as well to avoid liability on the theory of a “defacto partnership”
  6. In drafting legal documents, they should use a comprehensive up-to-date checklist as a guideline to their own document
  7. If they suspect that a legal associate has a drinking or drug problem, they need to get professional help as this situation is a time bomb.
  8. They need to reinforce the elements of their firm’s client-service strategy by posting it in the office and making it part of an annual company event where everyone is reminded and protocols are highlighted.

For more information and help with your professional liability insurance accounts, call us at Pat Moore.  We focus on E&O for attorneys, accountants, architects, engineers, real estate, media & tech, and healthcare professionals.  We partner with independent agents like you to leverage our resources providing your clients with superior malpractice coverage.

We have deep insurance knowledge and access to key markets to help you with solutions for your hard-to-place clients too.  It’s easy to get a quote.  Call Kaycie Berley at (800) 214-9294 x228 or send submissions to submissions@patmooreins.comCall now!

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17 Defensive Moves!

cyber attack clip art“Since late 2009 the FBI has been warning law firms about noticeable increases in cyber-attacks,”  according to John Sroka, CIO of Duane, Morris LLP, an international legal firm based in Philadelphia, PA.  Sroka points out that although companies’ needs and security requirements vary, there are some basic defenses that should be employed.  You don’t have to be a law firm to see the value in his recommendations.  Here they are:

  1. Use strong passwords. Passwords should be more than six characters, using a mix of case letters, numbers and symbols. Passwords should also be required on all mobile devices and changed regularly.
  2. Install firewalls and keep rules updated.
  3. Develop and enforce Internet and technology usage policies.
  4. Provide security awareness training.
  5. Keep your computer, browser antivirus and other critical software up to date.
  6. Do not open an email or attachment from an untrusted source.
  7. Pay attention to website URLs. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate one but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain. Do not click on unknown links.
  8. Monitor security logs.
  9. Restrict access to sensitive data.
  10. Password-protect laptops and encrypt hard drives.
  11. Do not write down passwords.
  12. Do not install software from unknown sources or unknown websites.
  13. Do not use Drop-box or other Internet file-hosting services for client documents.
  14. Media such as USB drives should be encrypted.
  15. Servers should be in a locked room.
  16. Do not share your user ID or password.
  17. Use a screensaver password and always log out when away from your computer for a period of time.

One last recommendation is to offer your clients the protection they need from cyber, privacy and data breach by calling Pat Moore Insurance Services.  Pat Moore simplifies the process, evaluates protection options and provides tailored solutions to protect your client’s first party insurance needs and third party liability.

We have partnered with highly rated carriers in this emerging field. Call Pat Moore’s Kaycie Berley at (800) 214-9294 x228 or send her an email at kjberley@patmooreins.comCall her today!

P.S.  Get a unique perspective on cyber risk and security in this short TED video where Mikko Hypponen talks through the 3 major types of online attacks and their implications on privacy and personal freedom.

Sourced from the ALA’s Ask The Experts

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Get Powerful, Strike a Pose.

In the future, “the most successful leader will be the one whose policies, actions, behaviors, and body language are strategically aligned with his verbal messages,” according to executive coach and behavior consultant, Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D.  But if you want to win new clients and persuade team members, it’s not just a matter of sending a signal of power in a meeting by leaning back in your chair. You can actually change your body chemistry by assuming and holding that power pose for a few moments prior to the meeting.

Harvard Business School professor, Amy Cuddy, explains in an Inc. Magazine interview, that you can prepare yourself for success by assuming simple ‘power poses’ prior to a meeting or interview.  She says, “if you want to be an effective leader, watch the way you sit, stand and posture.” In other words, this power posing is not just for people who want to appear powerful. It’s for people who want to be powerful.  To enlighten us, Cuddy revealed these four classic poses:

• The Performer: Mick Jagger –“This is a classic expression of feeling powerful in the moment-it causes you to physically expand.”
• The CEO: Oprah Winfrey–“The body language naturally projects dominance. It’s unusual to see a woman in this position.”
• The Classic: Wonder Woman–“She’s really opening up. The feet spread, the hands on the hips. She’s taking up space.”
• The Loomer: Lyndon Johnson–“Johnson was 6’4″, and he used his stature very thoughtfully-to both intimidate and seduce.”

Before you strike that pose, give Pat Moore a call. No posers here, just an honest assessment about your client’s liability risks and how we can help. We have your back when it comes to errors and omissions for architects, engineers, lawyers, accountants, tech & media and healthcare professionals.  Got a hard-to-place client?  They’re our speciality.  Give Kaycie Berley a call at (800) 214-9294 x228 or send submissions to submissions@patmooreins.com.  Call today!

P.S. Interested in more details? Here’s Amy Cuddy’s TED performance, on “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.

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Forecast: Optimism with a Chance of Expansion

Optimism & Expanision AICPAU.S. companies expect to make more money and spend more of it going into 2014 according to the third quarter AICPA Economic Outlook Survey, released on Tuesday, Sept. 10.  The AICPA survey polls chief executive officers, chief financial officers, controllers and other certified public accountants in U.S. companies who hold executive and senior management accounting roles.

The recently released, U.S. Department of Labor report on August employment showed that current hiring trends are still relatively weak. But the American Institute of CPAs survey serves as a forward-looking indicator of hiring expectations over the next 12 months and while still cautious, indicated that business executives continue to raise their expectations for hiring in the coming year.

Some 15 percent of respondents now say they have too few employees and are planning to hire in the next 12 months, up from 12 percent last quarter and 9 percent a year ago. Another 19 percent say they have too few employees but are reluctant to bring on new staff.

The CPA Outlook Index—a comprehensive gauge of executive sentiment within the survey— remains unchanged from last quarter at 69 points. The index is a composite of nine, equally weighted survey measures set on a scale of 0 to 100, with 50 considered neutral and greater numbers signifying positive sentiment.

Most elements of the index rose modestly or were unchanged. Other findings include:

  • Key Performance Indicators – Profit and revenue expectations continue to track upwards at a modest pace.
  • Hiring – Some 53 percent of business executives say their companies have the right number of employees.
  • Biggest Growth – On an industry basis, the construction, technology, and professional, technical and scientific services sectors are expected to see the biggest job growth.
  • Health-Care Costs – Expected cost increases in this category rose to 6.8 percent, up slightly from the previous quarter and the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2010.

The third quarter AICPA Business and Industry Outlook Survey was conducted August 13-29 and included 1,228 qualified responses from CPAs who hold leadership positions, such as chief financial officer or controller, in their companies. The overall margin of error is less than plus-or-minus 3 percentage points. A copy of the full report can be found on aicpa.org.

Whatever the business climate, Pat Moore partners with independent agents like you to leverage our resources providing your clients with superior professional liability coverage.  We have deep insurance knowledge and offer access to key markets.   We’re experts with hard-to-place clients so get a professional liability quote today!  Call Kaycie Berley at (800) 214-9294 x228 or send submissions to submissions@patmooreins.com

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The Cost of Expired Coverage

expired coverage from MS word clip artWhen it comes to their professional liability insurance, sound advice to give your clients is to tell them this rule of thumb. Don’t let it expire.

Start by reminding them that their insurance is purchased for a certain time period. This time period can be months, or years, depending on how their policy is set up. Give them this example if their coverage is annual, then a year from the start date is the expiration date.

The worrisome part is that if they fail to renew beyond that date, their policy will expire exposing their wallet along with their business.

Your clients might need you to explain that if their policy lapses, there is typically protection for cases already completed under an extended coverage policy, but new ones will not be covered. Probably the most confounding issue with missing renewal dates is that the underwriters may decide not to reinstate that coverage.

Then you may have problems finding adequate, cost effective, replacement coverage for them. There’ll be a possible gap in their coverage and premiums may very well cost more. All the equity they’ve built up in their policy has gone out the window and they basically are back to square one.

Also you may want to elaborate on the fact that with an active policy any damages suffered through negligence or ignorance (your basic E&O) are not problems. However, without a policy, a claim can be devastating financially and put their entire business at risk.

To avoid these expensive and unhappy consequences, encourage them to read through their policy and keep track of the expiration date as well as the bill dates, just like they would keep track of appointments with clients or family birthdays for example. In addition,busy professionals should begin the renewal process well before the expiration date to give you time to complete with them, a proper risk assessment where you can determine together if their current coverage is sufficient.

At Pat Moore Insurance Services, we recommend starting the renewal process at least 90 days prior to the expiration date. Let us guide you through this evaluation for your client and help you determine their insurance needs especially in light of new market trends or malpractice issues that require a customized policy. Take a moment now to get in touch with Kaycie Berley either by phone, at (800) 214-9294 x228 or send your email inquiry to her at kjberley@patmooreins.com.  Call now!

Image from MS Word Clip Art

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You Say Professional Liability, I say Errors and Omissions

Your clients might not be willing to admit it, but they’re probably confused about the difference between professional liability (PL) insurance and errors and omissions (E&O)? Tell them not to fret. Their confusion is well founded.  Historically, insurance for lawyers and dentists has been labeled professional liability while coverage for quasi-professionals was called errors and omissions.

But both PL and E&O policies cover economic losses suffered by third parties and both exclude bodily injury for the most part. So over time the terms have been used interchangeably and as a result have become synonymous. Between the two terms, there’s no difference!

For the record, the International Risk Management Institute defines professional liability as, “Coverage designed to protect traditional professionals (e.g., accountants, attorneys) and quasi-professionals (e.g., real estate brokers, consultants) against liability incurred as a result of errors and omissions in performing professional services for customers.”

While you’re at it remind your clients that pretty much any professional who gives advice or creates programs or provides a service, should have this coverage. A great example, you can share, is the story of an interior designer. The designer was sued by his client over materials used in a high end remodel of an old estate. Even if, it’s shown that the client signed off on the choices, the cost to defend the lawsuit could put this small business, out of business without PL insurance.

Now you’ve got your clients thinking that some of their customers (real estate agents, data processors, and accountants) are susceptible to suit and should have coverage. So remind them that one of the most important reasons to carry E&O coverage is for defense costs.

How much coverage your customers purchase of course, depends on their personal philosophy about risk, their financial ability to bear that risk, they type of risks faced in their practices, and their responsibility to protect their clients in the event that they make an error that causes that client harm.

To speed them through this process offer a free risk evaluation and let the team, here at Pat Moore, help. We’re a national wholesale broker with deep expertise in liability for lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers, real estate, healthcare and media professionals. 

Let us provide insurance solutions, especially for your hard to place clients.  Take a minute and call Kaycie Berley at (800) 214-9294 x228 or send her an email at kjberley@patmooreins.com. She’ll review your client’s current needs promptly and offer you alternatives with our top rated insurance carriers. Call today!

P.S. Statler and Waldorf, business cronies of Muppet Fame, debated the difference between PL and OE right after they figured out how to turn on their computer.

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