In 1736, Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase ”an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” to try to convince a skeptical colonial Philadelphia that having a fire deparment would be much better than having to rebuild a burned out city. By the end of 1736, Philadelphia a had volunteer fire department, the Union Fire Company, much of the credit going to Mr. Franklin.
The adage has held up to the present day, perhaps never so much so as in legal ethics and malpractice. As the law becomes more complex so too are disgruntled ex-clients becoming more combative and litigious. Lawyers are being hit with more suits and larger judgments. Estate planning and intellectual property attorneys and firms are fairly recent targets for zooming malpractice claims. Similarly affected are attorneys in the areas of real estate, personal injury, bankruptcy, and, here in California, entertainment law. This book emphasizes prevention and avoidance as the best cure. However, Chapter 13 (unlucky 13?) is “Handling a claim” if despite your best efforts prevention you have a claim filed against you.
The authors are not over stating the obvious in emphasizing the role of prevention. Because of unique nuances in California statutes, prevention may not be as simple as it may seem. The basic rules of professional ethics, the duty of care, loyalty, and confidentiality have remained the same over many years. However, California laws on the statute of limitations, the anti-SLAPP statute and other areas including recovery of punitive damages add more complexity to the issues.
The authors’ goal in producing this book is to fill the need for a resource that addresses these complex issues as well as the basics and to bring up to date information to bear in this new era of emerging technology, patent disputes, mega law firm mergers, and business globalization. The authors of this excellent book are share decades of experience between them. They all are well-known nationally for their work in this area.
The title covers the following issues and more.
Legal Elements of a Claim
Using Experts in a Malpractice Claim
Liability for or in Conjunction with the Conduct of Others
Defenses to Legal Malpractice Claims
Instructs in Legal Malpractice Prevention
Structuring a Law Firm To Reduce Risk Under California Law
Identifying and Resolving Conflicts of Interest
Email and Attorney Marketing: New Issues in 21st Century Law Practice
Ethics for the Trial Practitioner
The Tripartite Relationship
Available in the Law Library. Ask for location at the Reference Desk.