Posted on: July 15, 2021 by Huntersure LLC.
Lawyers owe their clients a high duty of care. When clients feel that a lawyer fails to act in accordance with the appropriate level of care, they may initiate a legal action for negligence or make a professional liability claim. Here are the most common reasons that clients sue their lawyers.
Lawyers often need to exercise very meticulous attention to detail when handling certain matters. A seemingly small administrative mistake by an attorney or a member of his or her support staff could result in a major hardship to a client and a lawyer professional liability issue.
One of the most common lawyer professional liability claims is for missing key filing deadlines. Clients are counting on their lawyers to make motions and other types of filings within any applicable time limits. When lawyers miss important deadlines, they effectively forfeit their clients’ legal rights. The ramifications could be very costly to a client. They may even lose the ability to defend against a claim or pursue their own claim altogether.
One of clients’ common complaints from clients is that they are unable to communicate well with their lawyers. Either lawyers do not return calls or they keep conversations extremely brief when they are accessible. If lawyers do not give a matter the attention that it deserves and stay in touch with their clients, a breakdown in communication could prevent a lawyer from adequately representing a clients’ interests. For example, clients may be unaware of the potential downside of taking a certain course of action. Also, clients may be unable to relay critical time-sensitive information to their counsel.
For the most part, lawyers cannot reveal information that clients share with them in the course of a representation. Revealing information that is within the scope of attorney client privilege could give rise to a lawyer professional liability claim.
One of the top reasons for malpractice suits is financial dishonesty with billing practices. Many lawyers charge high hourly fees. Inflating an invoice or not providing a reasonable account of how much time was spent on particular tasks could be a violation of a lawyer’s fiduciary duty or it could amount to a consumer protection violation. In some instances, reporting to have spent an excessive amount of time on tasks that a reasonable person would not find proportional to a tasks’s complexity may reflect unlawful billing or even fraud.
Ultimately, lawyers need to be conscientious about the possibility of a client initiating a legal claim. Even if lawyers consistently try to represent their clients to the best of their ability, it is possible if not likely that a client will not be happy with the outcome of a representation and want to pursue a legal remedy.
Huntersure LLC is a full-service Managing General Agency that has provided insurance program administration for professional liability products to our partners across the United States since 2007. We specialize in providing insurance solutions for businesses of all sizes. Our program features can cover small firms (grossing $2.5 million annually) to large corporations (grossing $25 million annually or more). We make doing business with us easy with our breadth and depth of knowledge of E&O insurance, our proprietary underwriting system that allows for responsive quoting, binding and policy issuance and tailored products to meet the needs of your insureds. Give us a call at (855) 585-6255 to learn more.
Posted in: Lawyer's professional liability insurance