Mr. Olmstead is a “lawyer’s lawyer.” He represents lawyers in malpractice lawsuits as well as grievances investigated by the Indiana Disciplinary Commission. He also serves as outside general counsel to other lawyers and law firms.
Mr. Olmstead cares deeply about the profession. He chairs the Ethics Hotline for the Indiana State Bar Association – fielding calls from lawyers facing ethical dilemmas. He has authored several Formal Ethics Opinions for the Legal Ethics Committee. He is a frequent presenter of legal ethics seminars for the Indiana State Bar Association, the Indianapolis Bar Association, National Business Institute, and ICLEF. He is also president of the St. Thomas More Society – an organization of Catholic lawyers and judges who strive for civility in the profession.
Patrick has been named an Indiana Super Lawyer in the field of Professional Liability Defense since 2014. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Only 5% of lawyers can achieve the Super Lawyers designation.
Legal malpractice defense
Mr. Olmstead represents lawyers who have been accused of malpractice. He has defended a wide range of legal malpractice cases throughout the federal and state courts of Indiana.
Mr. Olmstead has contracted with professional liability insurers to defend lawyers from malpractice claims. Mr. Olmstead provides an early evaluation of claims to develop a comprehensive litigation and settlement strategy.
Mr. Olmstead is an effective litigator who utilizes a wide array of dispositive motions to efficiently dispose of claims.
Mr. Olmstead has represented numerous attorneys by responding to investigations by the Indiana Disciplinary Commission.
Mr. Olmstead has contracted with multiple insurers to provide these services. He has also worked creatively with attorneys who were uninsured or who did not wish to make a claim on their insurance.
Mr. Olmstead’s vigorous and thorough responses to the Disciplinary Commission have resulted in numerous dismissals.
Even when the attorneys have faced discipline, Mr. Olmstead has worked creatively to develop discreet resolutions that protect a lawyer’s license.
For one insured who negotiated security for his fees after the termination of his representation (without complying with Rule 1.8(a)(2) for conflict of interests transactions), Mr. Olmstead was able to negotiate a private admonition, protecting the lawyer from public embarrassment.
For another client who wanted to avoid a suspension, Mr. Olmstead negotiated and developed a treatment plan with both the Disciplinary Commission and the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program. Because such a treatment plan was not previously available in Indiana, Mr. Olmstead worked with a licensed psychologist to develop protocol for the treatment, and worked with JLAP to have the protocol approved. This allowed the Indiana Supreme Court to impose a 30 day suspension, which was stayed during a probationary period pending completion of the treatment.
These efforts go above and beyond most expectations, which is why Mr. Olmstead receives numerous referrals from other lawyers.
Outside General Counsel, Risk Management Advice, and Private Opinion Letters
Mr. Olmstead serves as outside general counsel to numerous attorneys and law firms throughout Indiana. They reach out to him to provide risk management advice on a wide variety of topics. Because of his comprehensive knowledge of Indiana legal malpractice law, his work representing lawyers in disciplinary investigations, and his chairmanship of the Ethics Hotline, Mr. Olmstead offers unique insights for time sensitive ethics issues.
Mr. Olmstead has also been hired by law firms and lawyers to provide private opinion letters regarding the ethics of proposed courses of action. These private opinion letters have included fee agreements, fee sharing arrangements, business structures, conflicts of interests, reporting of misconduct, and unauthorized practice of law concerns, among others.
Mr. Olmstead has represented numerous attorneys in fee disputes with co-counsel and successor counsel in both state and federal court.
Mr. Olmstead has defended lawyers against disqualification motions and sanctions motions.
He has also represented attorneys when responding to third party subpoenas and has defended attorneys at depositions.
Finnerty v. Colussi, 954 N.E.2d 1042 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011), trans. denied (Mr. Olmstead was retained by the Indiana State Bar Association to draft an amicus brief to the Indiana Supreme Court regarding the method for proving the standard of care for Indiana attorneys).
Flatow v. Ingalls, 932 N.E.2d 726 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010), trans. denied (reversing and remanding for entry of summary judgment, holding that attorney and her law firm had no duty to plaintiff to file response to employer’s cross-motion for summary judgment due to the limited scope of her representation and that legal malpractice plaintiff failed to create an issue of fact as to proximate cause where plaintiff failed to provide a response that would have precluded summary judgment in the underlying employment dispute).
Walton v. Hyatt & Rosenbaum, P.A., No. 1:08-cv-1275, 2009 WL 3004539 (S.D. Ind. Sept. 18, 2009) and 2010 WL 379417 (S.D. Ind. Jan. 25, 2010) (dismissing Fair Debt Collections Practices Act claim against attorney and awarding fees and costs).
Matter of B.M., 919 N.E.2d 1144 (Ind. 2010) (approving conditional agreement for discipline, imposing six months of probation).
Nesbitt v. Jackel, 881 N.E.2d 100, 2008 WL 427655 (Ind. Ct. App. Feb. 19, 2008), unpublished, (affirming exclusion of plaintiff’s untimely expert testimony and further finding that attorney affirmatively proved that she met the standard of care, affirming summary judgment in favor of attorney on legal malpractice claim).
Matter of K.J., 895 N.E.2d 116 (Ind. 2008) (imposing reciprocal discipline of 2 year suspension imposed by Ohio)