Ruling from the bench, a New Jersey state court judge recently ordered an attorney to notify its liability carrier of a malpractice claim. Nagel v. Natural Energy, Case No. 534-08, (Super. Ct., Somerset Cty., Ashrafi, J.S.C.). Based on the hearing transcript, the judge based his decision on the ground that a law firm incorporated as a professional corporation is statutorily required to maintain malpractice insurance which, the former-client argued, would be rendered meaningless where a defendant attorney refuses to make a claim with its carrier. In this case, although the claimant notified the attorney's carrier of its malpractice claim, the carrier took the position that it could not offer a defense or ultimately cover the claim until its insured filed a claim for coverage and responded to its requests for information. As a result, the claimant filed a motion to compel its former counsel to file a claim with his carrier for the malpractice claim and cooperate with his carrier's request for documents and information relating to the claim. The judge granted the claimant's motion, ruling that "as far as providing information to the carrier the way that any insured would have to cooperate about a particular claim, I think those are requirements that are implicit in a rule that says you have to have insurance," but cautioned that he was "not by any means ready to go so far as to say what type of cooperation is necessary, whether it has to be to the extent of allowing the carrier to defend this counterclaim or not."