Preventing Malpractice

Defending a malpractice claim can be expensive and tarnish your reputation. Below are tips for avoiding malpractice claims and a links to resources with additional information.


Assistance - seek assistance for cases that require additional time or specialization. 

Accounting - use an accounting app to record client funds and keep them in a trust account separate from firm accounts.

Automate - automate calendaring of appointments, deadlines, and hearings; use software for billing, case management, and client communications. 

Communications - use written communications to follow-up meetings and phone calls;  promptly provide case updates;  explain reasons for your decisions and strategies.

Disengagement - use a non-engagement letter to confirm that a lawyer-client relationship has not been created.

Documentation - Retain copies of engagement (and disengagement letters), keep notes of matters discussed with clients; retain research that explains issues and approaches.

Engagement - use engagement letters to establish the lawyer-client relationship and include scope of services, amount of fees, billing schedule, and contact information.

Expectations - manage expectations to alert clients to litigation risks and possible outcomes. 

Reputation - monitor your reputation and address negative comments that appear on the Internet.


Practitioner’s Guide to Malpractice (start at 6 minute mark)


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