When a complaint about an attorney hits the news, it usually involves a great deal of money or some type of gross professional misconduct. But these major scandals are far and few between compared to the numerous smaller complaints made against attorneys on a daily basis. The ABA Journal published a list of the most common attorney grievances. Below are some of the complaints that made the list and most of them stem from simple mistakes. Check it out to see if these errors are plaguing your firm.
Lawyers live by their calendars, depending on them to keep track of client meetings, court appearances and strict deadlines. When you fail to calendar necessary events or put them on the wrong dates at the wrong time, you open the door to double bookings or forgotten appointments. The result may be a missed court appearance or settlement negotiation, causing undue hardships for your clients.
Missed Filing Deadlines
Inadequate calendaring can also lead to missed filing deadlines. From court pleadings and motions, to contracts and discovery, lawyers are constantly faced with deadlines that must be followed for proper representation of their clients. When you fail to place these important dates on the calendar, they can easily slip your mind. In the legal profession, a missed deadline can mean that a medical malpractice victim goes without compensation or an important business deal doesn’t happen. The results can be devastating for your client and potentially career-ending for you.
When clients review their invoices, they expect to see entries that are accurate and detailed, so they can clearly understand what services they are paying to receive. Unfortunately, many law firms send out bills that have overly general, ambiguous entries that give clients little understanding about the tasks completed. The other common billing problem is inaccuracy. When clients receive bills that are inflated or contain charges for work not completed, it creates a distrust for you and your firm. This not only affects your relationship with that client, but it can also have a detrimental effect on your reputation within the community.
Clients want to be kept informed about their cases. They want to know that the matter is progressing in the direction of their desired outcome. When clients do not receive updates from their attorneys, they begin calling the office and leaving messages that often go without response. This lack of communication is one of the leading complaints by clients against their lawyers. While it may be just another case to you, it is important to remember that it may be the most important issue in your client’s life. Developing an efficient system for responding to clients can make them happy, while also keeping you out of trouble.
Each of these common complaints can be adequately addressed with proper practice management. TimeSolv’s time tracking and legal billing software provides your firm with the tools to create timely and accurate bills, properly track billable hours, and provide clients with instant access to their accounts. Click here to learn more about the ways that TimeSolv can help you keep your clients happy.
About Erika Winston:
Erika Winston is a freelance writer with a passion for law. Through her business, The Legal Writing Studio, she helps legal professionals deliver effective written messages. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications.