Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Charlie Sheen & Unexpected Lawsuits

The world is witnessing an interesting display to say the least involving Charlie Sheen. The case involving Charlie Sheen entails an important lesson, which is a lawsuit often times occurs at an unexpected time. In Charlie Sheen's case, there is no insurance that one can purchase that protects one from a breach of contract claim. This is important to remember because most business professionals and physicians assume that insurance is the answer. Unfortunately, in many instances, insurance is not available.

I represented one physician that got a huge judgment against him and his insurance policy did not cover a claim for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. I know it sounds like a breach of fiduciary duty and fraud claim is difficult and would not apply to you. The truth is these are fairly common claims and a physician should not assume these claims would not apply to yourself.

Asset protection is vital prior to a conflict or litigation matter. I just got off the phone with an attorney that is threatening a fraudulent transfer lawsuit against one of my clients. My client allegedly transferred assets of his corporation individual prior to filing bankruptcy. This technically is a fraudulent transfer because it was intended to defraud, hinder, or delay payment of a creditor. Obviously, my client may claim that this transaction is not a fraudulent transfer and was finalized for adequate consideration. Adequate consideration means that the sale of the business was done for fair market value.

In conclusion, asset protection is critical for business owners, physicians, and dentists. In many cases, physicians are afraid of malpractice lawsuits, which is a legitimate concern. However, the unexpected lawsuit such as Charlie Sheen's example is much more likely. A breach of contract or partnership disputes are the most likely examples of unexpected lawsuits.

Sean Robertson is a corporate and asset protection attorney concentrating in estate planning, business law, and asset protection for physicians and dentists. Sean Robertson may be reached at (312) 498-6080 or Sean@RobertsonLawGroup.com.

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