Seven Ways to Help Avoid Getting Sued for Legal Malpractice

 

1. Return Calls and Emails

This is the single biggest complaint by clients. Attorneys are notorious for not returning phone calls and responding to emails promptly, if at all. One way to show your clients that you care about them is by returning their phone calls and emails promptly, which lets them know that you care.

2. Listen to Your Client

Sometimes clients just want someone to listen to them. So listen to them. They deserve a lawyer who cares about their wellbeing.

3. Act Professionally

This one is so simple, yet so often broken. Act like a lawyer. If you interrupt your client when they are speaking or act bored at a meeting or deposition, you are giving them a reason to look for another lawyer, and possibly end up with a malpractice case.

4. Keep Promises

If you say you are going to be somewhere, be there. If you say you are going to do something, do it. Clients pay attention to these things. Even if your broken promise wasn’t malpractice, it can lead to a malpractice case against you.

5. Be Flexible

If your fee agreement leaves you with more money than your client, or your bills appear excessive given the size of the matter, you may want to rethink the situation and make your client happy. Even if you’re right about sticking to the contract, it’s better to be flexible with the money, to be fair, and avoid a legal malpractice lawsuit.

6. Calendar. Calendar. Calendar.

Your calendar is your best friend. Be sure to calendar everything at the onset of a case, including but not limited to hearings, statutes of limitations, deadlines, etc. The last item you want to see in a legal malpractice lawsuit is that you missed an important calendar date, forfeiting your client’s rights.

7. Don’t Be Condescending

Some clients can be a pain (so are some lawyers). Even if your client is being obnoxious or rude, you shouldn’t be condescending. If you do not want to deal with it, suggest they retain another attorney. Talking down to your client is a good way to get yourself sued.

Legal Malpractice Case Results

Client v Attorney

Practice Area: Legal Malpractice Outcome: $1,200,000

Client v Attorney

Practice Area: Legal Malpractice Outcome: $1,100,000

Moore v. Taub

Practice Area: Legal Malpractice Outcome: $1,100,000

Client v Attorney

Practice Area: Legal Malpractice Outcome: $250,000

Client v Attorney

Practice Area: Legal Malpractice Outcome: $220,000 View additional case results.