When you’ve been practising awhile in a particular area or serving the long-term needs of a particular client or client group, it’s easy to become complacent about documenting the file, such that you fail to give proper attention to detail or keep appropriate records. In The Comfort Trap, risk manager Mark Bassingthwaite writes about this kind of risky behaviour, noting that:
Feeling confident in your practice and comfortable with your clients is a good thing as long as this level of comfort doesn’t result in a related casualness with file documentation. When you begin to rationalize away the need to thoroughly document any given file you’re setting a trap that truly can bite you at some point further along.
This is a good reminder. When faced with a malpractice claim, you’ll never regret having taken the time to ensure you’ve “dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s.”
The Canadian Lawyers Insurance Association provides loss prevention information solely for the benefit of CLIA insured lawyers. The content and links provided in Loss Prevention eBytes are intended as resources to qualified lawyers who should exercise due care and their professional judgment in adapting or making use of any content.
A recent post on the AvoidAClaim blog notes that 3 Ontario lawyers have reported that they were contacted via LinkedIn with a request to provide legal services in relation to enforcement of provisions under separation-type agreement. The fraudsters used the names of a real lawyer and law firm. This serves as a good reminder to watch for the classic red flags, no matter how a potential new client contact is initiated, whether via email or another message service provided through a website such as LinkedIn or Facebook.
With the increased pressures on provincial legal aid plans and nation-wide concerns about access to justice, more and more lawyers are stepping forward to take on pro bono clients. There are of course risks in working for free. The post Is Agreeing to do Pro Bono Work Risky? by Mark Bassingthwaighte outlines some of those risks and concludes:
A client is a client regardless of whether money is changing hands. I share all this to underscore that the risks of doing pro bono work are going to be the same as the risks that come with any other legal work that you do.