3 Simple Ways To Avoid Legal Malpractice
Malpractice claims are always on the minds of lawyers. There are 3 simple techniques that can be employed to prevent the stress and pain of a malpractice claim.
1. Know and Apply The Law – If you don’t know, get help.
2. Choose Wisely – Judgement Errors Is The Second Highest Cause of Malpractice
3. Budget Properly For Discovery – Cutting Corners Here Can Cost You
Know & Apply The Law
According to the ABA, 76% of law firms have 2-5 attorneys.
If a law firm has the firm owner and an associate and a great criminal law case comes in the door, do you turn it down if you mainly focus on personal injury?
Failure to know and apply the law for the practice area you are focusing on accounts for the largest single segment of claims reported, according to a study completed by the ABA.
The Solution: refer off cases that aren’t where the firm focuses. The upside, you could get referrals back from those same law firms with cases that fit you perfectly.
Errors in judgement or strategy is a major cause of malpractice claims. It isn’t enough to know the law, the application and strategy of how to apply the law is key. This is why large firms collaborate with Of Counsel attorneys or with a team to ensure the proper strategy is employed. Experience really does county when it comes to making big decisions.
About 1 out of 10 malpractice claims arose from an attorneys lack of good judgement and strategy.
The Solution: Collaborate with other attorneys or hire and of counsel lawyer who has the experience you need to tap into. The investment can go a long way to the success of your firm.
Budget Properly For Discovery
A common mistake made by lawyers is not allowing enough budget to be put into discovery.
This happens when the lawyer assumes they have found out enough facts to win the case but end up losing. Being complacent, allowing lack of upcoming cash flow to affect the discovery budget, and time constraints all lead to this type of avoidable malpractice claim.
Other Types Of Claims Investigated
– Communication Errors (Attorneys lack of response or communication with the client)
– Failure To Appear/ Submit (Missing court dates or deadlines to file)
– Conflicts of Interest
– Failure to obtain consent
– Failure to follow client instructions
– Clerical errors
– Improper withdrawal
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