By laying out a lawyer’s general policies and expectations of the client and the scope of representation, as well as setting and explaining fees, a well-drafted engagement letter sets the tone for the representation and reduces the risk of malpractice.
Reporting to your malpractice insurer all malpractice claims and all issues that might become claims is one of the best ways to ensure continuation of your coverage and minimize negative results of the claims.
Lawyers have an obligation to obtain information from other professionals when necessary to competently represent clients, but ensuring the accuracy and reliability of that information is also part of lawyers’ duty to their clients.
Even lawyers with tight schedules will reduce their malpractice risk by taking the time to ensure that they and staff members are effectively using the most appropriate practice-management software and technologies for their practices.
Lawyers might unintentionally expose themselves to malpractice liability through insufficient caution or lack of care with case-management details in many situations, including when settling claims, helping clients with business deals, or failing to comply with statutes of limitation.
Electronic technology can save money by reducing the cost of storing and transmitting information and documents, but it also exposes lawyers to a new ethical and financial hazard: the danger that electronic information will be lost or stolen and the attendant expenses to notify victims.
Unbundling legal services and providing only the assistance clients want and can pay for is acceptable, as long as lawyer and client clearly understand and abide by the representation’s scope.