Litigation Malpractice Claims Fact Sheet
Litigation claims, always near the top of the LAWPRO claims count (alternating some years with real estate), saw an increase after 2009 due to Rule 48 administrative dismissals. New amendments to Rule 48.14 as of January 2015 should reduce these claims, but there are still risks that the new processes, deadlines and transition provisions will trap unwary lawyers.
Lawyer/client communication is also a significant source of claims in this area. Misunderstandings around what actions the client expected the lawyer to take, or the expected outcome/cost of a case, often result in claims. Limited scope retainers may increase these risks. Proper documentation of instructions, detailed notes of client conversations and reporting letters can help LAWPRO defend these claims should they arise.
Claims involving inadequate discovery of fact or inadequate investigation are the third most common source of plaintiff litigation claims. These involve the lawyer not taking extra time or thought to dig deeper and ask appropriate questions on the matter.
Download the full Fact Sheet (PDF) for detailed information.