Reviewing rules of professional conduct and advisory opinions is a good way for attorneys to ensure that they maintain an ethical practice. There are also steps that attorneys can take or best practices to follow to reduce their risk of legal malpractice claims. One factor that influences best practices for claim avoidance or risk reduction comes from the data surrounding legal malpractice claims filed in court. The most recent data from the ABA covers years 2008 through 2011, and was released by the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers' Professional Liability. The committee has expressed its intent to issue its next study of legal malpractice claims in fall 2016, covering the years 2012 through 2015.
While awaiting the new results for 2012 through 2015, it behooves attorneys to look back at the trends from the prior report, covering the worst years of the economic crisis. This helps prepare attorneys for potential malpractice claims and identify more ways to avoid them altogether.
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