Here are a few risk management ideas for the New Year.
- Make sure all clients sign engagement letters and provide retainers.
- Make sure your malpractice insurance is up to date. Every year I defend lawyers who failed to obtain insurance. Let’s make sure that lawyer isn’t you this year.
- Don’t sue for fees. If you sue, make sure that you have another lawyer look at the file to make sure you are not generating a claim. Far better to walk away from a fee balance than to sue and receive a counterclaim for legal malpractice.
- Don’t lose your temper with clients and former clients. When you lose your temper, you make poor decisions and generate claims against yourself.
- Do not respond to online reviews – unless the response is “No Comment” or “Please contact me to discuss why we declined your case,” or “I respectfully disagree with this review.” Do not reveal confidential information and do not criticize the client who gives you the bad review.
- Try your best not to lose your temper with opposing attorneys and the court. It never ends well.
- When reporters call you about a pending case, please respond with “No Comment” or “We are evaluating the Court’s decision and are considering all of our options.” Do not comment on the merits of a case before the fact finder has reached a decision.
- Should you have a question, claim or other issue, do not hesitate to contact us. We can often help. The earlier you contact counsel the better.