Legal Malpractice Tips for Lawyers
To avoid lawsuits, here are some legal malpractice tips for lawyers:
1. Avoid giving “Casual Legal Advice”
- Claims adjusters who defend legal malpractice claims are all too familiar with the lawsuit in which the attorney gave casual legal advice to their friends and family during conversation or at a social mixer. Be cautious of where and when you give advice; it is best to make an appointment where you can gather all of the applicable facts for proper analysis.
2. Screen Your Own Clients
- It is important for attorneys to screen their own potential clients. Based upon a financial relationship, the attorney-client association is one that must be built upon mutual trust, confidence and communication.
3. Keep an Up-to-Date Calendar
- Almost 1/3 of legal malpractice claims revolve around administrative or procedural errors, which can easily be avoided. Placing checks and balances within the calendaring process will provide your firm with a tremendous help with this issue. Missed statues and deadlines are the number one reasons for claims.
4. Client Communication
- Approximately 15-25% of legal malpractice claims come from communication problems between attorneys and clients. For the most part, clients understand that lawyers are busy and may not be able to take a phone call at a specific moment or respond immediately. However, responding within a reasonable amount of time will save you much more time in the long run.
- Surety within the firm amongst lawyers and staff can certainly help avoid legal malpractice claims. Always make sure of statutory deadlines, documents were filed in a timely fashion, calendar entries are filled out, papers were served and follow up with clients requests.
- All lawyers should take steps to ensure that they are adequately protected with professional liability insurance coverage, more commonly known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.
- Professional liability coverage protects professional advice- and service-providing individuals and companies from bearing the full cost of defending against a negligence claim made by a client, and damages awarded in such a civil lawsuit. The coverage focuses on alleged failure to perform on the part of, financial loss caused by, and error or omission in the service or product sold by the policy holder.
Phaedra Andrusiak, BSc, LL.B
Account Manager, Executive Liability
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Original article source: Legal Malpractice Tips