Lee NorcrossApproximately 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 lawyers professional liability insurance carriers will not provide quotes even if the law firm has no claims.

A law firm should use calendaring for all projects, events and deadlines.  It should be entered in at least 2 different docket control systems that are independent of each other; preferably each system is monitored by a different individual.  

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 department 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 insurance carriers.  Firms that miss deadlines, will pay substantially higher attorney malpractice premiums because of the resulting malpractice claims.

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