A number of years ago, I took a call from a solo attorney who was nearing retirement. The retirement years were to have been his best years yet because his plaintiff practice had been quite successful. He was an esteemed member of the bar and had become something of a pillar in the community. His reputation of helping others and being of service to the community at large was above reproach, that is, until it all went horribly wrong.
The number of professional liability claims that arise as a result of a substantive legal error has varied a bit, but it generally seems to hover around 46%. In short, this means that roughly 46% of reported claims in any given year are a result of an attorney failing to know the law, failing to properly apply the law, or failing to know or ascertain a deadline…..