Money - lots of it - is on the line, and that means "lawsuits are inevitable for financial planners," says Sheila Chesney, principal at Chesney & Co., a wealth management firm in Sheldon, S.C. Chesney knows that all too well. In recent years, a client couple with whom she thought she had "parted on good terms" have brought two actions against her.

"After our engagement was terminated, I received a nasty letter," Chesney relates. That led to a round of mediation, which was deemed unsuccessful. A bit later, Chesney was served in a civil lawsuit, which she has moved to dismiss. "It's cheap to file a suit," she says. "Lawyers may be hoping that the scare factor will get results."

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