Top 10 Malpractice
Traps and Tools for
Avoiding Them
#ClioWeb
Agenda
1. Introduction
2. Top 10 Malpractice Traps
3. Helpful Tools
4. Questions
Introduction

Joshua Lenon, Esq.
Clio

#ClioWeb
Malpractice
Lawyers can expect to face
three malpractice claims
over the course of their practices

Source: ABA’s Standing...
Malpractice
1. To avoid the financial drain of defending
claims.
2. For the protection of the public.
3. To protect the la...
Top 10 Malpractice Traps

Mark Bassingthwaighte, Esq
ALPS

#ClioWeb
Mark Bassingthwaighte, Esq.
#1 Failure to Know or Properly
Apply the Law

There is no such thing as a simple will or
simple contract.
Don’t overlook t...
#2 Failure to Document Scope

• Don’t allow
assumptions to be
in play

• Memories are short

ALPS
#3 Missed Deadlines

•
•
•
•

Data Entry Errors
No File Review Dates
No Back-up Calendar
Last Minute Filings

ALPS
#4 “Well What We Have Here Is a
Failure to Communicate”

• Don’t overlook the
basics
• Who has employed
who?

ALPS
#5 Poorly Managed Client
Relationships
• Every malpractice
claim begins with a
dissatisfied client
• It’s about courtesy,
...
#6 Conflict Resolution Missteps
Of course do:
• Establish a conflicts
system and access
early
• Fully disclose all
conflic...
#7 Neglecting the Business
• Firm in name only
• We are our partners keepers - MRPC 5.1
– Trust accounts
– LPL apps
– Secu...
#8 Forgetting to Take Care of
One’s Self
• The importance of
both balance and
firm culture
• It’s ok to say no
• Delegate
...
#9 The Mistakes of Comfort
• Comfort in relationships
– Clients
– Staff
– Partners
• Comfort in routines
• Comfort in work...
#10 A Malpractice Counterclaim in
Response to a Suit for Fees
• Don’t accept clients
who can’t afford the
services
• Call ...
Helpful Tools

Joshua Lenon, Esq.
Clio

#ClioWeb
Ethics Resources
1. State Ethics Opinions
2. Ethics Hotlines & Inquiries
Mentors

• Networking Groups
• Social Media Communities
• Local Bar Associations
• Professional Liability Insurers
Organization

• Practice management services
• Contact information
• Notes
• Documents
• Calendars
• Tasks
Collaboration

• Online Document Generation
Communications

• Voice over IP (VOIP)

• Call Forwarding
• Email
• Social Media
Finances

• Accounting Services
• Financial Advice
• Payment Processing
Backup

• Physical media backups
• Online backup provides offsite
redundancy
Questions?

#ClioWeb
Thank You
www.goclio.com
@goClio

joshua@goclio.com
@Joshualenon
Smallfirminnovation.com
@SFInnovation
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Top 10 Malpractice Traps and Tools for Avoiding Them

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Join ALPS' Risk Manager, Mark Bassingthwaighte, and Clio's Joshua Lenon as they discuss strategies and tools that lawyers can implement to mitigate common malpractice issues.

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Top 10 Malpractice Traps and Tools for Avoiding Them

  1. 1. Top 10 Malpractice Traps and Tools for Avoiding Them #ClioWeb
  2. 2. Agenda 1. Introduction 2. Top 10 Malpractice Traps 3. Helpful Tools 4. Questions
  3. 3. Introduction Joshua Lenon, Esq. Clio #ClioWeb
  4. 4. Malpractice Lawyers can expect to face three malpractice claims over the course of their practices Source: ABA’s Standing Committ On Lawyers Professional Liability
  5. 5. Malpractice 1. To avoid the financial drain of defending claims. 2. For the protection of the public. 3. To protect the lawyer’s personal assets in the event of settlement or judgment. Source: New Lawyer’s Guide to Professional Liability Insurance by Carolyn Elefant
  6. 6. Top 10 Malpractice Traps Mark Bassingthwaighte, Esq ALPS #ClioWeb
  7. 7. Mark Bassingthwaighte, Esq.
  8. 8. #1 Failure to Know or Properly Apply the Law There is no such thing as a simple will or simple contract. Don’t overlook the related problem of inadequate discovery and investigation. ALPS
  9. 9. #2 Failure to Document Scope • Don’t allow assumptions to be in play • Memories are short ALPS
  10. 10. #3 Missed Deadlines • • • • Data Entry Errors No File Review Dates No Back-up Calendar Last Minute Filings ALPS
  11. 11. #4 “Well What We Have Here Is a Failure to Communicate” • Don’t overlook the basics • Who has employed who? ALPS
  12. 12. #5 Poorly Managed Client Relationships • Every malpractice claim begins with a dissatisfied client • It’s about courtesy, timeliness, professionalism & confidentiality ALPS
  13. 13. #6 Conflict Resolution Missteps Of course do: • Establish a conflicts system and access early • Fully disclose all conflicts, thoroughly document conflict discussion and obtain written consent But more importantly: • Develop a Resolution Process • If out, out for both • Don’t minimize the risks – they’re more than what meets the eye! ALPS
  14. 14. #7 Neglecting the Business • Firm in name only • We are our partners keepers - MRPC 5.1 – Trust accounts – LPL apps – Security ALPS
  15. 15. #8 Forgetting to Take Care of One’s Self • The importance of both balance and firm culture • It’s ok to say no • Delegate responsibly • Unplug ALPS
  16. 16. #9 The Mistakes of Comfort • Comfort in relationships – Clients – Staff – Partners • Comfort in routines • Comfort in work product ALPS
  17. 17. #10 A Malpractice Counterclaim in Response to a Suit for Fees • Don’t accept clients who can’t afford the services • Call the client • Take prompt action on delinquencies • Objective file review • Farm out collections ALPS
  18. 18. Helpful Tools Joshua Lenon, Esq. Clio #ClioWeb
  19. 19. Ethics Resources 1. State Ethics Opinions 2. Ethics Hotlines & Inquiries
  20. 20. Mentors • Networking Groups • Social Media Communities • Local Bar Associations • Professional Liability Insurers
  21. 21. Organization • Practice management services • Contact information • Notes • Documents • Calendars • Tasks
  22. 22. Collaboration • Online Document Generation
  23. 23. Communications • Voice over IP (VOIP) • Call Forwarding • Email • Social Media
  24. 24. Finances • Accounting Services • Financial Advice • Payment Processing
  25. 25. Backup • Physical media backups • Online backup provides offsite redundancy
  26. 26. Questions? #ClioWeb
  27. 27. Thank You www.goclio.com @goClio joshua@goclio.com @Joshualenon Smallfirminnovation.com @SFInnovation

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