Professional Liability

In defending professionals against claims of liability, malpractice and negligence, we understand, first and foremost, that such claims can not only affect a professional’s business financially; they can also exact a personal toll by threatening the professional’s reputation and professional standing. We appreciate the protectiveness of professionals for their work, and we go to great lengths to minimize the risks of public exposure while working to guard their long-term career interests.

Our clients include accountants, lawyers, doctors, dentists, architects, engineers, design professionals, licensed contractors and subcontractors, hospitals and other healthcare providers, and their insurers. In addition to litigating claims in state and federal courts, we also vigorously defend clients in mediation and arbitration proceedings, before administrative and regulatory agencies, and in hearings before professional licensing and review boards. Where possible, we assist clients in avoiding litigation altogether through aggressive negotiations prior to a suit being filed.

Our extensive work in the related fields of products liability, class actions, mass torts and toxic torts have provided us with the experience, skills and insight needed to efficiently manage complex cases, deal with highly technical and scientific issues, identify and assess risk at every stage of litigation, and deftly handle expert witnesses. Equally important, clients benefit from McAfee & Taft’s highly collaborative work environment, which leverages the collective knowledge, experience and expertise of the firm’s corporate, regulatory and trial lawyers across a broad range of industries and legal disciplines.

Architects, Engineers and Construction Professionals

The firm has significant experience defending architects, engineers, licensed contractors and subcontractors, geotechnical professionals, and design professionals in complex, often highly technical, construction-related litigation in state and federal courts, in mediation and arbitration of construction-related claims under the Construction Industry Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association and other arbitration organizations, and in proceedings before professional licensing boards. Such disputes often involve issues of direct personal injury, property damage and remediation, and indemnification negotiation resulting from alleged construction defects or failures, negligent design and engineering, construction delays and breaches of contract.

In lawsuits specifically alleging professional negligence by architects and engineers, our specialized experience has trained us not only to look beyond the primary design issues, but also to look for ways to mitigate damages, particularly in light of “betterment” rules and the economic loss doctrine.

Medical and Dental Professionals and Healthcare Facilities

McAfee & Taft attorneys have represented physicians, dentists, hospitals, long-term care and assisted living centers, and other medical professionals against claims of malpractice and negligence, including those involving standard of care claims, negligence in peer review and negligent credentialing claims, misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose claims, and bad faith issues.

Our medical malpractice and negligence defense practice capitalizes on two of the firm’s proven areas of strengths – its extensive collective knowledge and insight into the specific legal and business challenges facing the healthcare industry and its significant litigation experience defending a broad range of complex negligence and liability lawsuits. Over the years, McAfee & Taft attorneys have defended hundreds of mass torts, toxic torts, products liability, malpractice and negligence cases involving claims of serious injury and death, and we have developed particular skill in dealing with the unique challenges of lawsuits that often include emotionally-charged plaintiffs, generally sympathetic juries, sensitive personal and medical issues, and countless expert witnesses.

Lawyers and Law Firms

McAfee & Taft represents law firms and individual lawyers against allegations of legal malpractice, professional negligence, fraud, violations of the rules of professional conduct, and breach of ethical and fiduciary duty. We also defend clients before state regulatory and disciplinary authorities.

The successful defense of a legal malpractice claim requires not only litigation expertise, but also the accurate assessment and full understanding of the underlying lawsuit, transaction or regulatory matter which prompted the claim. Given McAfee & Taft’s collective depth of knowledge and proven experience in a broad range of regulatory, transactional and litigation matters, we are well positioned to know how to best defend the work of attorneys before courts, juries, arbitrators and disciplinary authorities.

Accountants and Accounting Firms

Like legal malpractice, lawsuits against accountants often involve substantial multi-million claims which can impact both a firm’s reputation and its financial standing. McAfee & Taft represents accountants and accounting firms against charges of negligence, malpractice, fraud, violations of federal securities laws, and breaches of professional, ethical and fiduciary duty in civil and white collar criminal jury trials and in proceedings before federal agencies and state regulatory bodies. We also assist clients in responding to government inquiries and cooperating in formal investigations.

Proven Experience

Representative matters handled by our attorneys:

  • Successfully defended a structural design engineer in a $14 million claim alleging the negligent design of a curtain wall and structural steel supports in a 15-story office building in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • Obtained summary judgment in state court for a national accounting firm in a professional malpractice action brought by a large bank arising out of the failure of a startup airline. Successfully defended on appeal to the Oklahoma Supreme Court the trial court’s order granting summary judgment.
  • Successfully defended a Chicago-based law firm against claims of securities fraud and improper handling of the issuance of company stock to employees brought by the trustee’s of the company’s retirement fund.
  • Obtained defense verdict in favor of a family practice physician and physician’s assistant against a claim of failure to diagnose the signs and symptoms of a myocardial infarction.
  • Defended a structural engineering firm in a lawsuit alleging negligent design resulting in excessive vibration issues in a performing arts center.
  • Defended a public accounting firm in class action shareholder litigation alleging that the accounting firm failed to discover revenue production fraud. Obtained dismissal of the securities fraud claim.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement in multidistrict litigation for a lawyer accused of issuing fraudulent or negligent opinion letters which allegedly led to failed real estate and securities transactions totaling more than $75 million across several states.
  • Successful representation of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in defense of claims arising from falls, development and treatment of decubitus ulcers, elopement, and alleged mishandling resulting in injuries and wrongful death.
  • Representation of geotechnical companies arising from incidents of foundation movement and allegations of negligent soil analysis, testing and treatment.
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of a leading national law firm accused of fraud and negligence by the investors of a bankrupt collection services company.
  • Representation of healthcare providers in defense of malpractice lawsuits, involving such areas of medicine as family practice, neurology, radiology, pain management, orthopedics, ear, nose and throat surgery, pancreatic dissection, endocrinology and ophthalmology.
  • Jury trial representation of ENT physician in wrongful death lawsuit arising from uvulapalatopharyngoplasty surgery to treat life-threatening sleep apnea condition.
  • Defended a civil engineering and surveying company against claims of negligent engineering involving a bridge with alleged insufficient load capacity.
  • Represented design professionals in a lawsuit alleging negligent design resulting in excessive moisture in a slab.
  • Defended a large full-service engineering consulting firm in several lawsuits against claims of negligence in the construction management of several turnpikes in Oklahoma.
  • Defended professional negligence claim filed against landscape engineering firm employed to design a bank’s water and sewer system, as well as site drainage and paving.
  • Defended a professional architecture and design firm in matters alleging the negligent design of exterior lighting and glass paneling at a municipal facility plaza.
  • Successfully defended journeyman plumber and plumbing company in a cause and origin/professional negligence lawsuit seeking recovery for extensive property damage caused by a restaurant fire.

Professional Liability Team

J. Craig Buchan


(918) 574-3049

Brandon L. Buchanan


(405) 552-2307

Mary Quinn Cooper

Shareholder, Practice Group Leader

(918) 574-3065

Valerie L. Dixon

Of Counsel

(417) 409-6091

Bradley K. Donnell


(405) 552-2308

Braden M. Hoffmann


(405) 270-6084

Henry D. Hoss

Shareholder, Director

(405) 552-2245

Peyton S. Howell


(405) 270-6089

Cole McLanahan


(405) 270-6066

Jennie M. Mook


(405) 270-6087

Zach L. Neighbors


(405) 552-2275

Micah J. Petersen


(918) 574-3061

Dru A. Prosser


(918) 574-3056

Timothy L. Spencer


(918) 574-3042

Sharolyn Whiting-Ralston

Of Counsel

(918) 574-3004