Two issues — the division of responsibility for professional negligence and causation — are apparently entwined, Judge Kent Jordan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit observed Tuesday, illustrating his point by twisting his fingers together on the bench after a lawyer had suggested separating those aspects of a case implicating three unrelated lawyers for legal malpractice.

Travelers Indemnity Co., which had insured the last lawyer involved in a string of related lawsuits on behalf of the same clients, is seeking contributions from the two lawyers who handled the earlier, underlying case after the insurance company settled the affair for $1.5 million.

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