Ritman Insurance Insights

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The Top 10 Malpractice Traps

1. Missing deadlines Utilize dual calendars Proper date calculations Cross-check 2. Conflicts of interest and matter Representation of both parties Personal involvement with a client's business Proper ID at engagement 3. Poor client relations Have clear and timely communication Clear engagement/declination letters Clear expectations up-front 4. Ineffective client screening Thorough intake process Conflict check with other firm mem...

How long do I have to maintain client files?

The file destruction issue is a mix of malpractice and ethics issues. In short, there is no "one time period fits all files" answer. Each file must be reviewed by a lawyer with these matters in mind. Malpractice considerations - Maintain file for minimum time period for running of statute of limitations (SOL) on a legal malpractice claim, generally two years. Note that SOL may not begin to run until the malpractice is discovered. In some circumstances files may have to be mainta...

Collection of Fees

Clients frequently ask us: "Can we sue for fees?" While we don't encourage suing for fees, we know that lawyers should not be ‘shut out' of availing themselves of the courts to be paid on contractual obligations. Before you sue for fees, follow these guidelines: First, review the file for any potential legal malpractice in the representation (or actions that could be in good faith claimed to be malpractice) that could defeat the fee claim. Have another lawyer in ...