Approximately twenty-five percent of legal malpractice claims result from calendaring issues such as failure to know a deadline; failure to timely file; failure to record in a calendar; or failure to respond to a calendar reminder. Because a missed deadline is a basic procedural error, many attorney malpractice insurers will not provide quotes for law firms that have no docket control even if the firm has never had a claim.
A law firm should use calendaring for all projects, events and deadlines. Preferably entering the event in at least 2 different independent docket control systems and are monitored by different individuals.
For larger firms, to prevent delays and missed deadlines, supervisory attorneys should perform a workload analysis of subordinate attorneys on a frequent basis. Using a central system to monitor individual attorney’s work will assist in making sure that important deadlines are not missed.
Missed deadlines are costly to the law firm and malpractice insurer. Law firms that miss deadlines can expect to pay substantially higher attorney malpractice insurance premiums because of the resulting malpractice claims.