“By recognizing malpractice risk and implementing prevention procedures, an attorney can minimize his or her exposure to a legal-malpractice lawsuit. There is an increasing fetishization of ‘winning’ for the client that is disproportionately weighted. Of course, an attorney’s work for a client should be profitable and meaningful, which are sentiments extracted from victory. But above all, embracing some of the tips [included in this article] should remind the practicing attorney that in striving to obtain an outcome for his or her client, his or her legal work should be comprehensive and good,” writes Saleel V. Sabnis, an attorney in Goldberg Segalla’s Professional Liability Practice Group.
“A significant percentage of legal-malpractice lawsuits at last tally are about administrative considerations (not calendaring internally), planning errors, and client communication as much as attorneys failing to know the law. Newer data would indicate that legal-malpractice claims are on the rise in recent years as are the sizes of judgments. The issue of preventive care therefore is never moot.”
In this article, Saleel discusses various methods for avoiding legal-malpractice claims. These include learning how to spot “problem” clients, keeping written documentation of all conflicts, avoiding guarantees that could set unreasonably high expectations, and taking steps to ensure that the client feels important throughout the process.