Overview

Frances O’Meara is a partner in WSHB’s Los Angeles office. She is a nationally-recognized professional malpractice attorney who concentrates her practice on errors and omissions defense for attorneys, accountants, architects, insurance agents, real estate brokers, appraisers, doctors, and nurses. Frances is certified by the California State Bar as a Certified Legal Malpractice Specialist. She advises professionals and law firms on legal professional and ethical issues, issues relating to risk management and loss control, and cyber security and data privacy risks.

Frances works directly with major insurance carriers throughout the United States, non-insured attorneys, large corporations, healthcare providers, and financial institutions. She has extensive experience in D&O financial lines and commercial litigation, with an emphasis on fidelity, fiduciary, and surety claims investigation and litigation. Frances also represents medical malpractice claims related to healthcare management, assisted living, dental malpractice, and nursing.

She is experienced in defending general liability matters arising from premises liability, trucking, automobile, and accident claims involving property damage, personal injury, and wrongful death. Her clients have included bars, restaurants, property owners, general contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers, and trucking companies.

Frances also enjoys experience in employment litigation, including discrimination claims, employment contracts, and retaliation and sexual harassment claims. She additionally handles fidelity and bond matters throughout the State of California.

Experience

Trials

  • Gregory v. Solari (2022) – Invasion of Privacy – Defense 

  • Gianelli v. Woolsey (2022) Legal Malpractice Underlying EPL – Defense 

  • Letgolts v Pierce (2021) – Legal Malpractice –  Defense Affirmed Appeal 

  • Rashti v. Borenstein (2020) Legal Malpractice Defense Verdict Appeal Affirmed 

  • Park v. Ryu (2019) Legal Malpractice – Defense
  • Maurice v. Harlan (2019) A&E Post Trial Judgment in Favor of Defendant 

  • Watercourt v. Adams Wine/Westoaks Commercial Group – Defense Verdict (2019), Appeal affirmed (2020)

  • Saleigh v. Stone (2018) Legal Malpractice – Defense
  • Biggins v. Newlee (2015) – Defense Verdict Affirmed Appeal
  • Anthony Perez v. Bradford Brown, et al. (2013) – Legal Malpractice E&O – Defense
  • Lin v. Rand Medical Billing (2012) – Professional Liability E&O – Defense
  • Seongsu Kim, et al. v. Lim Ruger & Kim LLP (2012) – Legal Malpractice E&O
  • Biggins v. Newlee (2011) WL 5842849 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 11/22/2011) – Legal Malpractice E&O – Defense
  • Williams v. Hilb, Rogal & Hibbs Ins. Services of California, Inc. VC044754 (9/9/2009) – Insurance Agent Malpractice E&O - Defense
  • Kresich v. Stolpman, Krissman, Elber & Silver, LLP (2008 WL2231683) – Legal Malpractice E&O – Defense
  • Valentine v. Membrila Services BC240280 (5/10/2004) – Insurance Agent Malpractice E&O – Defense
  • Stimpfel v. Fensten & Gelber BC159394 (3/6/2002) – Legal Malpractice E&O – Defense
  • Bolton v. Trope SC037295 (10/22/1999) – Legal Malpractice E&O – Defense

Defense Judgment

  • F.D.I.C. v. Levitt 2011 WL 4591933 (S.D.Cal. 10/03/2011) – Appraiser Malpractice E&O
  • F.D.I.C. v. Munoz 2011 WL 4357186 (C.D.Cal. 9/19/2011) – Appraiser Malpractice E&O
  • Sverdlin v. Yollin (2011) – Real Estate Malpractice E&O
  • Alsaiegh v. Sweat (2011) – Legal Malpractice E&O
  • Parsa v. Caplan, et al. – Legal Malpractice E&O
  • Lusk v. Baker (2011) – Legal Malpractice E&O
  • McComas v. Wallace (2011) – Legal Malpractice E&O
  • Visconti v. Zanger, et al. (2010) – Real Estate Malpractice E&O
  • M. Fredicic v. International Coffee & Tea (2009) – Legal Malpractice E&O
  • Continental Ins. Companies v. Total Dollar Management Effort, Ltd. 228 Fed.Appx. 661 (9th Cir. (Cal.) 3/28/2007) – Insurance Agent E&O
  • Renteria v. Gallo Insurance Agency BC237511 (8/22/2003) – Insurance Agent Malpractice E&O
  • Beverly Hills Sports Council v. Wright 2002 WL 31320288 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 10/17/2002) – Legal Malpractice E&O
  • Avakian v. Ohanessian 2002 WL 31195443 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 10/03/2002) – Legal Malpractice E&O
  • Kurinij v. Hanna & Morton BC103239 (6/10/1997) – Legal Malpractice E&O

Anti-SLAPP

  • Daniels v. Robbins (2010)
  • Geoffrey Commons v. Inland Desert Security & Communications, Inc. (2011)
  • Lintz v. William F. Dohr (2011)
  • Ellenhorn v. Pilchman & Kay, PLC (2012)
  • Richard Sylvester v. Robin Sax, et al. (2012)

Credentials

Education

  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (J.D., 1988)
  • Stanford University (M.S., 1979)
  • Stanford University (B.S., 1978)

Licensed to Practice in

  • California

Newsroom

Events, Seminars & Speaking Engagements

  • Instructor, CLM School of Professional Lines (2022)
  • Instructor, CLM Claims College (2022)
  • "Professional Liability: How to Overcome Obstacles Perpetuated by the Pandemic," CLM Focus (June 15, 2022)
  • "Don't Waiver from Risk Management: Learn to Spot Conflicts and Other Red Flags at Intake," Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (March 17, 2022)
  • Speaker, Hinshaw Annual Legal Malpractice Risk Management Conference (March 2022)
  • Instructor, CLM Claims College (2021)
  • "Poor Decisions," ClaimsXchange (2021) 
  • Instructor, "Investigating & Evaluating Professional Lines Claims," CLM School of Professional Lines (September 8, 2021)
  • Instructor, CLM School of Professional Lines (2020)
  • Instructor, CLM School of Professional Lines (2019)
  • Instructor, “All About Professional Liability Claims,” PLUS University (August 5, 2019)  
  • "Alexa Draft a Motion for Summary Judgment," CLM Cyber Management and Professional Liability Conference (July 10-12, 2019)
  • "A Rabbi, a Priest, and an Imam Walk into a Bar - Alternative Judicial Forums for Resolution," CLM Annual Conference, Orlando, FL (March 13-15, 2019)  
  • "You Got Issues: Lawyers E&O Insurance Coverage," DRI Professional Liability Seminar, New York, NY (November 29-30, 2018)
  • "Airbnb - B-ware and B-legal," CLM Management and Professional Liability Conference (July 27, 2017)
  • "50 Shades of Grey ... Hair ... Recognizing the Client with Diminished Capacity, Argo Panel Counsel Summit Seminar (June 28-29, 2017)
  • "Social Media, Fitbits, and Smartphones - Practical Tips to Handling New Sources in Discovery," Allied World Counsel Summit (May 9, 2017) 
  • "The Exception Letter: When the Insured Pushes Back," DRI Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute, Chicago, IL (April 7, 2017)
  • "Succession Planning and 'Aging Out' of Attorneys: Developing a Comprehensive Strategy for Succession Planning," ACI-LPL Legal Malpractice Conference, New York, NY (October 24, 2016)
  • SoCal PLUS Cyber Insurance Conference (October 20, 2016)
  • "California Fair Claims Act," Allied World (May 19, 2016) 
  • "TMI: The Positives of Over Sharing," ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar (March 4, 2016)
  • "Claims Handling Experts: How to Find Them, Manage Them, and Win with Them," Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar (March 6, 2015)
  • "Anticipating and Resolving Claim Issues In a Tough World," Claim Advocacy & Bad Faith Workshop (October 29, 2014)
  • "California Fair Claims Regulations," RSUI (May 12, 2014), Allied World (May 13, 2014), YorkPro (July 29, 2014)
  • "Strategies for Defending Legal Malpractice Litigation," RSUI (April 18, 2014)
  • "BYOD: Bring Your Own Device," PLUS International Conference (November 2013)
  • "Texting, Sexting and Internet Abuse: Cyber Law and Social Media Issues," Insurance Seminar, Dallas, TX (October 2013)
  • "How to Avoid Being Targeted, Stuffed and Mounted," NCMI Defense Counsel Seminar, Kansas City, MO (September 2013)
  • "What “Enquiring” Minds Want to Know...," Social Media, PowerPoint Presentation, Freedom Specialty, New York, NY (October 2013)
  • "Defense Counsel and Others in the Crosshairs - How to Avoid Being Targeted, Stuffed and Mounted," NCMIC (September 26-27, 2013)
  • "Avoiding the Pitfalls of Attorney 'Blawging' and Social Networking," Litigation Counsel of American Spring Conference & Induction of Fellows (May 10-11, 2012)
  • "Cyber Liability: The Governing Law & Legal Issues," IBA West Blue Ribbon Conference (May 6-9, 2012)
  • "Blogs & Tweets That Can Torpedo Your Career," Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s 11th Annual CLE Expo in Chicago: Ethics for Lawyers (March 20-22, 2012)
  • "Elder Abuse and Professional Liability," DRI Professional Liability Seminar (December 15, 2011)
  • "Cyber Liability Insurance Exposures, Coverage and Risk Management," PLUS Southern California Chapter Workshop (September 8, 2011)
  • "Conflicts Between Defense Counsel and Coverage Counsel: Is It Ever in the Best Interest of the Client?," 5th Annual National Errors and Omissions Liability Insurance ExecuSummit (July 26-27, 2011)
  • "The Anatomy of an Estate Planning Malpractice Case," Spring ABA National Legal Malpractice Conference (April 27-29, 2011)
  • "Opportunities in E&O That Are Here to Stay," PLUS Professional Risk Symposium (March 24, 2011)
  • "Disbarment Cocktail: 1 Drop Thoughtless E-Mail Plus 2 Drops of Questionable Judgment," Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s 10th Annual Expo (March 16-17, 2011)
  • "Using Pretrial Remedies – Anti-SLAPP Statutes and Other Evidentiary Early Disposition Motions," 10th Annual Premier Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference, February 16, 2011
  • "Legal Ethics and the Role of the Law Firm Administrator," Association of Professional Law Firm Managers (APLFM) (October 12-13, 2010)
  • "Standing to Sue, Privacy and the Duty of Disclosure," 9th Annual Premier Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference (March 10, 2010) 

Publications

  • You Don’t Want to “Shoot a Missed Approach” from Your Adjuster’s Desk, October 17, 2016
  • A Cautionary Tale: Regarding Arbitration Agreements in Professional Liability Retainers, October 27, 2014
  • California Supreme Court Upholds Class Action Waivers but Finds PAGA Representative Actions Cannot be Waived, June 26, 2014
  • Lawyer; Heal Thyself: A Cross-Industry Dissection of Today’s Professional, June 13, 2013
  • Insurance Binders and Certificates of Insurance, September 19, 2012
  • Suggestions for Insurance Agents Responding to Questions Regarding Mold, Mealey’s Litigation Report: Insurance Broker Liability, Vol. 4, 5, July 8, 2008

Community

Memberships

  • Advisory Board of CLM – Cyber/Management Professional Liability Section
  • CLM Claims College Executive Committee/Instructor – 2017
  • Chair – CLM Conference Committee (2016-2017)

  • CLM Professional Liability Advisory Board (2016-2017)

  • Chair of DRI’s Professional Liability Committee (2013-2015)

  • DRI’s Professional Liability Committee (2010-2013)

  • Vice Chair of DRI’s Professional Liability Committee (2011-2013)

  • Women in Law Committee

  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC)

  • Board of Governors of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association (SCCLA)

  • Diversity Liaison for the Defense Research Institute (DRI)

  • California Board of Legal Specialization – Certified Legal Specialist in Legal Malpractice

  • Committee Chair (Advisory Board) – Management & Professional Liability Community Committee (CLM)

  • Committee Chair (Lead Chair) – Real Estate Professionals Committee (CLM)

  • Board Member – Management & Professional Liability Community

  • Community Chair (Advisory Board) – Cyber, Management & Professional Liability Community

  • Community Chair (Co-Chair) – Wiki Guidelines

  • Committee Chair – Committee Conference Committee

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