Malpractice Avoidance: Professional Judgment

With regard to what comes in between taking a case and resolving it, the lawyer is usually protected from malpractice claims by the “judgment call” rule. Most mistakes lawyers make in the area of discovery, trial preparation and trial are not the sort of thing that make for viable malpractice cases. Most can be explained on the basis that the lawyer exercised professional judgment (in taking or not taking a deposition, calling or not calling a witness, etc.). Most lawyers who handle legal malpractice cases will not file that sort of suit. The lawyer is just not liable for a mistaken exercise of professional judgment.

From: “Malpractice Avoidance in Tort and Insurance Cases,” CLE presented to the Oklahoma Association for Justice. Copyright 2013 Rex Travis.