• Disclosing requested information in the insurance application and submitting the application well before the coverage date
• Documenting the processes used to carry out professional responsibilities
• Committing to loss prevention and using risk management services
• Adopting and implementing malpractice prevention measures such as office management policies
• Using effective calendaring and docket control systems
• Using well-defined fee agreements with your clients including written documents to confirm the attorney/client relationship
• Using an electronic conflict of interest search system
• Practicing in the area of law in which you have experience, and appropriately supervising junior attorneys and support staff
• Using peer review as part of your quality control procedures
Some of the benefits of attempting to limit your liability include lower professional liability insurance premium increases and avoidance of nonrenewal notices.
These dramatic increases are due in part to a weakened economy in which attorneys are forced to change jobs more frequently or practice in new areas of the law. Additionally, newer methods of communicating (email, social networking sites) and using digital information (electronic filing of court records, electronic document storage) regularly expose attorneys and law firms to the potential for malpractice claims. It is imperative that attorneys and law firms recognize emerging legal malpractice risks and purchase coverage to protect against those risks.