Time Chart of Potential Mistakes

Before Meeting The Client
  • An attorney must have familiarity with the field of legal work.
  • If no familiarity, must have help on the case.
  • Advertising issues as defined by the Bar Association and the Supreme Court for all cases.
  • Questions of holding oneself out as an "expert" or "limiting one's practice" in a specific area of law.
  • Attorney must be familiar with the requirements in obtaining referrals from other attorneys and their compensation.
Meeting With The Client
  • Retainer agreement must follow requisites, including sliding scale or malpractice scale until changed by the legislature.
  • Attorney must determine whether there are any real or potential conflicts.
  • Attorney must determine whether there are minority/majority questions, or questions of guardians.
  • Attorney must determine the statute of limitations date.
  • Attorney must determine whether notices of claim are necessary.
  • Attorney must be careful of promises made to client.
  • There should be a clear understanding of what the attorney will do for the client, and whether there are areas not covered by retainer agreement. Appellate work may require a separate retainer.
  • Problems with the case should be discussed, and if appropriate set forth in writing.
  • Questions of fees, escrows, return of fees if not earned, earned fees must be discussed and resolved.