The Florida Bar Law Office Management Assistance Service, and its Director, my friend Judy Equels, a while back shared some startling statistics with me as we co-developed a legal risk management program.
I’ve often said that most good lawyers are terrible business managers, and these statistics prove just that: of the top 10 most common malpractice & grievance issues, the top 8 are NOT LEGAL BUT OFFICE MANAGEMENT related – AND HIGHLY PREVENTABLE through instituting of basic operations systems and procedures. They are:
1. Failure to manage time/procrastination
2. Failure to docket – identify/document deadlines
3. Failure to manage information
4. Failure to obtain client consent
5. Failure to file documents timely
6. Missed or unresolved Conflict of Interest
7. Poor communications with client
8. Failure to follow client instructions
9. Inadequate discovery/investigation
10. Failure to know/apply the law
How do you know if you’re at risk? If your answer to this basic question: How many files do you have open right now is – “uh, about. . .” If you don’t have a daily handle on how many, what you’re currently doing in each, and the deadline for its completion – you could well be headed for the cliff. At the very least, you’re losing too much sleep worrying about what you might have missed in that pile of files on your desk
Don’t ignore this major sign of potential disaster. If you would like a copy of my simple tool, the Case Manager Form, just shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and request Form TP-04.