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Inadequate Investigation

Document intentions behind inter vivos transfers

There is a wide range of reasons behind individuals’ decisions to transfer ownership of property. Unfortunately, legal presumptions about transfers don’t always align well with the transferor’s intentions, which can lead to unexpected results. Transfers that are intended to be gifts may be treated as trusts in favour of the transferor; or transfers made for… Read More »

Categories: Areas of Law, Articles, Communications Errors, Content Type, Inadequate Investigation, Malpractice Errors, Wills & Estates

Ask critical questions to head off will challenges

We all know it’s impossible to write an effective will for a client without investigating the details of the client’s circumstances and estate. While this conclusion may seem trite, in recent years LAWPRO has seen an average of 60 claims per year alleging that the lawyer did not investigate key details. This specific error has… Read More »

Categories: Areas of Law, Articles, Communications Errors, Content Type, Inadequate Investigation, Wills & Estates

How simple mistakes can lead to large claims

Cartoon dollar bills

It’s easy to think that, at least in your office, a major claim couldn’t possibly happen. But LAWPRO’s experience shows that errors, innocent oversights and gaffes in any type of practice can lead to big problems. And if you or your firm don’t have adequate insurance in place to address the claim, you could be… Read More »

Categories: 2015 February - LAWPRO 20th, Articles, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law, Franchise, Inadequate Investigation, Independent Legal Advice, Personal Injury, Personal injury, Real Estate, Wills & Estates

When waiving a search comes back to haunt you

man with head on desk

How a client perceives a lawyer’s role in a transaction often depends on the client’s experience. At one end of the spectrum, a new homebuyer may believe that the lawyer will not only navigate the process, but will also personally shield the client from all risks. At the other extreme, a sophisticated businessperson may urge… Read More »

Categories: 2014 September Diversity, Articles, Could This Happen to You?, Inadequate Investigation, Real Estate

Informed, documented plea instructions protect you from claims

judge gavel

Though the rate of malpractice claims flowing from criminal cases is lower than in other areas of law, the number of claims in this area is on the rise, and for many of the same reasons we see in other areas. The most frequent cause? Issues with lawyer-client communication. An area of particular vulnerability to… Read More »

Categories: Areas of Law, Articles, Communications Errors, Content Type, Criminal Law, Inadequate Investigation, Malpractice Errors

Consider threshold questions before accepting joint retainers in wills

pen and document

Joint retainers are common in wills practice. Wills and estates lawyers are often asked to prepare mirror or mutual wills for two spouses. While the lawyer is typically assured by the couple that they are in agreement about the proposed estate plan, lawyers should be careful when relying on these assurances, because over the past… Read More »

Categories: Areas of Law, Articles, Communications Errors, Conflicts of Interest, Content Type, Inadequate Investigation, Retainers, Wills & Estates

Steer clear of real estate claims by asking these five questions on every deal

The real estate lawyer’s job is more than just conveying title, and not every matter will be straightforward. Communication errors and inadequate investigation are the biggest causes of real estate claims at LAWPRO, respectively 41 per cent and 26 per cent of claims reported between 2001 and 2011. Busy, high-volume practices often lead to situations… Read More »

Categories: 2013 September practicePRO 15th, Articles, Communications Errors, Inadequate Investigation, Real Estate

Inadequate investigation/discovery now #1 cause of claims

magnifying glass over words facts

The devil – as they say – is in the details. And it’s the details that appear to be creating issues for lawyers when it comes to the principal underlying cause of claims. Back in 1998, “inadequate discovery of fact or inadequate investigation” was the fifth most common cause of a claim when we looked… Read More »

Categories: 2012 August Checklists, Articles, Civil Litigation, Inadequate Investigation, Practice Tips, Real Estate, Wills & Estates

Is anyone listening? Preventing communications claims

two heads talking

It’s easy to prevent communications breakdowns: So why is this consistently the #1 source of claims for LAWPRO? No matter what the area of practice, the number one source of claims at LAWPRO is a breakdown in communication between the lawyer and client. And those numbers are increasing. Between 2005 and 2010, more than 4,200… Read More »

Categories: 2011 Fall Communications, Articles, Civil Litigation, Communications Errors, Corporate Law, Family, Features, Inadequate Investigation, Real Estate, Wills & Estates

Real estate claims trends – errors and insights

Real estate law accounts for the second highest number of legal malpractice claims in Ontario, after civil litigation. But real estate law is responsible for a higher percentage of claims costs than litigation – and the trends are up for both the count and cost of real estate claims. Over the last ten years, real… Read More »

Categories: 2010 Dec File Retention, Articles, Communications Errors, Features, Inadequate Investigation, Real Estate
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