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Family Law Malpractice Claims Fact Sheet

Given the stress and emotions involved in their matters, family law clients can be among the most difficult to deal with. Many have unrealistic expectations regarding the process, timing, costs, and potential outcomes of their matters. You can significantly reduce your claims exposure by confirming in writing the information your client provides to you, your advice to the client, the client’s instructions to you, and what steps were taken on those instructions.

Failure to know or apply the law is twice as likely to occur in family law than in other areas of practice. It is one of the most complex practice areas involving dozens of federal and provincial statutes and voluminous case law. You should be aware of the limitations in your legal knowledge and expertise. You may want to engage another lawyer who has expertise in estate planning or tax issues; an accountant or actuary may be needed to help with a pension or business valuations, stocks or stock options, bonds; or an appraiser to deal with assets such as antiques.

You can substantially reduce your risk with clear lawyer/client communications and ensuring you know the relevant law.

Download the full Fact Sheet (PDF) for detailed information.

Land Acknowledgement

The offices of LAWPRO are located on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, Anishnabeg, Chippewa, Haudenosaunee and Wendat peoples. Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit. LAWPRO respects and acknowledges the histories, languages, knowledge systems, and cultures of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit nations.

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