Criminal Malpractice Lawsuits May Be Fewer, but No Less Costly

Criminal defense malpractice lawsuits are not common and are significantly different from civil cases when proving malpractice. Apart from the difficulty involved in proving ineffective assistance of counsel, the plaintiff must first overturn the criminal conviction before pursuing the malpractice lawsuit. There is a huge burden of proof on the plaintiff to demonstrate that they would have had a different outcome if not for the actions or inactions of the attorney. That’s why 80% of the criminal law claims [...]

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Claims and Errors Trends: What You Should Know

Below is information compiled from OAMIC’s claim data from 2009-2019 regarding common errors and claims. This information was originally prepared as part of the materials for the recent continuing education program Tales From the Trenches, but we’ve made it available here because everyone in Oklahoma’s legal community can benefit from knowing about claims in our state. FREQUENCY BY AREA OF PRACTICE Similar to national trends, claims from 2009-2019 were highest in plaintiff personal injury/property damage work. This, combined with collections and [...]

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PHIL’S CORNER: Moving Past Diversity to Inclusion

Co-written by Phil Fraim and Zindaba Tembo FROM DIVERSITY TO A DIVERSE TEAM Phil Fraim, President and CEO The topic of diversity and inclusion is an important one. However, it is also one that people have heard so many presentations about and been involved in so many educational or training sessions on that they have become weary or desensitized. That is not to infer this is a reasonable reaction, or even understandable. Rather, merely an observation based on statements some have made. Someone [...]

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Remote Work: Risk Management in the Remote Work Environment

The novel COVID-19 pandemic has created new working conditions for most of us. How we work and how we interact with each other has drastically changed over the past months. With new territories comes increased risk, some known and other risks are still unknown. Therefore, it is vital that lawyers continue to take precautions to minimize the risks of legal malpractice lawsuits while navigating the remote environment. Most of the claims reported during “normal” times are as a result of [...]

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Remote Work: Productivity and Mental Health Tips

Even as offices reopen, especially as COVID-19 cases continue to fluctuate across the country, many companies have adopted more flexible work from home policies, allowing employees to work outside the office more frequently and sometimes even on a regular schedule. Working from home comes with distractions like children, spouses, pets and access to TV and food, plus it presents challenges like slow Wi-Fi, distracting noises or software issues. This environment, coupled with negative headlines, social isolation and fear of catching [...]

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Why an Effective Calendaring System Is Important

Personal injury/property damage – plaintiff is the area of law with the most frequent legal malpractice lawsuits. Approximately 30% of the cases received in the past decade are personal injury/property damage-plaintiff cases. These cases include but are not limited to, product liability, medical malpractice and accident collisions. The most common types of errors usually result in a missed deadline. These errors include: Failure to know or ascertain deadline correctly, failure to react to calendar, failure to calendar properly and procrastination [...]

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Collection + Bankruptcy Errors: What You Need To Know

As consumer debt increases, so does the demand for collection and bankruptcy legal services. According to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) 2020 annual report, “the volume of new debt placed in the litigation channel has increased significantly.” This indicates a growing market for collection and bankruptcy lawyers. It may be tempting for an attorney to increase profitability by handling a large volume of these cases, but this obviously comes with increased risk of a legal malpractice lawsuit [...]

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Common Estate, Trust & Probate Errors + Tips for Managing Your Risk

Estate, trust and probate law is an area of practice concerned with the management and transfer of wealth. This is usually handled by using a variety of legal instruments such as but not limited to wills and trusts. Claims originating from this area have been rising and are expected to continue to rise as baby boomers transfer their wealth. The frequency of claims in this area of law is high; however, 70% of these claims usually close out with [...]

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Real Estate Transaction Errors: What You Need to Know

Even the best attorneys make mistakes, but not all mistakes made by attorneys qualify as legal malpractice. According to the American Bar Association (ABA), 4 out of 5 lawyers will get sued for malpractice in their legal career. The likelihood of being sued is greater for real estate attorneys, as it is one of the high frequency areas of practice. There are many mistakes that can be made during a real estate transaction, such as errors in preparing a deed [...]

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Common Family Law Errors and How to Mitigate Your Risks

Family law is the area of law that deals with matters of the family. This includes, but is not limited to, prenuptial agreements, separation, divorce, child custody, child support, adoption and surrogacy. Family law is one of the areas of law with a relatively high number of legal malpractice suits. However, these lawsuits are typically low severity cases. About 70% of the claims received in this area close out with no loss payment. Emotions run high in these cases and [...]

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