Error Omissions
Error Omissions
Submit your information below so we can contact you with a FREE quote
[All fields are required.]
Actual Annual Revenue:
Verify:
=
I have read and agreed to theTerms & Conditions
Error Omissions
Error Omissions

Error & Omission: Preventing E&O Claims Against Your Law Practice


In recent years, more than 35,000 legal malpractice claims have been filed annually against lawyers with malpractice insurance, a number that doesn’t reflect complaints against the uninsured. Most lawsuits are as a result of an attorney’s failure to communicate with a client. Other reasons include failure to meet deadlines, failure to timely file an appeal, billing issues, failure to properly structure, and settlement agreements.

 

In addition to the need for a specifically tailored Errors & Omissions or Professionally Liability policy, stringent risk-mitigation procedures need to be in place. Go back and look at your procedures and be sure that the following is being done in your practice:

 

  • Communicate with your clients and send them reports in writing. Whether in letter format or via email, provide your client with significant procedural and substantive events in the case. Also, outline any significant issue and strategy decision.
  • Memorialize transmission of pleadings and discovery. Memorialize the transmission of pleadings, orders, discovery items, depositions, etc. that you send to your client. This can help avoid problems as to whether the jury believes you when you testify that the client was sent certain documents or was advised of certain issues.
  • Provide itemized bills. In hourly cases, itemize your bills in as much detail as feasibly possible. This helps to serve as a diary of meetings, telephone conversations, pleadings prepared, and issues researched. In contingent cases in which no itemized bills are prepared, transmittal letters and reports to the client are even more important.
  • Document. Take the time to document — even brief reports are better than none. If the client has instructed you not to report or not to send certain items, put that instruction in writing in a letter to the client.
  • Advise client of applicable statute of limitations. The failure to file an action within the applicable statute of limitations is the second most common form of legal malpractice next to the failure to properly communicate with a client. If a potential client discusses claims with you, immediately determine the applicable statute of limitations. If you accept the representation, immediately calendar the dates on your personal calendar and through the firm’s calendaring system, if applicable. If you don’t accept the representation, then notify the client in writing that you won’t be representing the client, but inform him/her of the applicable statute of limitations and that the claim must be filed within the specified time.
  • Tender claims to insurance companies, when applicable. If a client is sued, it is arguably within the attorney’s standard of care to tender coverage to the insurance carriers under which there is potential coverage.
  • Analyze and recommend settlement, when applicable. It is within an attorney’s standard of care to advise a client on settlement options. If the client is interested in settlement, you should pursue that alternative.

 

 

Axis Insurance provides E&O insurance for attorneys. We have E&O brokers on staff who are licensed throughout the country. We work with numerous, well-respected carriers who can custom tailor a plan to fit your practice.

Comments

comments

Blogged on: November 15, 2011 by Mike Smith
Error Omissions
Error Omissions
Submit your information below so we can contact you with a FREE quote
[All fields are required.]
Actual Annual Revenue:
Verify:
=
I have read and agreed to theTerms & Conditions
Error Omissions
Error Omissions