Avoiding Malpractice Suits > Effective Client Relations
In our series of posts, we have discussed the major exposures lawyers face when it comes to malpractice suits, including how to prevent a conflict of interest at your firm. In this final installment, we’ll take a closer look at the tried and true methods for conducting yourself and managing clients in order to keep your reputation from becoming tarnished. As a lawyer, communication is key. However, malpractice claims as a result of poor communication are all too common. Therefore, protect your firm with an Indianapolis Lawyer Malpractice Insurance, and consider the following strategies.
Easier said than done, but the most simple and straightforward gestures can make all the difference. The three major factors that prevent complaints are:
- Communicating with the client frequently about the case.
- Obtaining consent and authorization.
- Following the client’s instructions.
State clear boundaries.
Unexpected outcomes and dissatisfied clients can be avoided by stating clear objectives, boundaries, and expectations from the start.
Aside from clear discussions on fees and fee arrangements to ensure there are no financial surprises, Olson discusses when the client can expect communications, and ascertains how the client would like to receive them (email, phone, text, or postal mail).
Without setting this expectation, the client may be expecting daily calls or emails even when there’s nothing to report. Or, the attorney may sense the client wants consistent weekly updates regardless. In either case, both lawyer and client are on the same page, states the State Bar of Wisconsin.
Be thoughtful about the delivery of bad news.
It’s impossible to guarantee an outcome of a case, but you can evaluate how certain facts, delays, and circumstances might affect the case as it plays out. At some point, every lawyer is going to have to deliver bad news. However, if you prepare the client for the worst-case scenario, and are realistic with the approach and strategy, you can minimize the potential for a lawsuit.
About Walker & Associates Insurance
Walker & Associates Insurance understands the myriad risks lawyers face. If you don’t have legal malpractice coverage, you’re playing a risky game of Russian roulette. You never know when a client whose case doesn’t go his way will come back and point the finger of blame at you. Contact us today at (800) 213-7126 FREE to make sure you’re protected.