Real estate tops malpractice claims

Latest data show significant decline in claims against plaintiffs personal injury attorneys
September 18, 2012
Fulton County Daily Report

The latest data is out regarding the frequency and severity of legal malpractice claims data between 2008 and 2011, and the news is generally good.

Notwithstanding a slowed economy and a rapidly changing law practice, both the frequency and severity of legal malpractice claims have remained relatively constant during the last three years. The newest data for the years 2008 through 2011 was released at the National Legal Malpractice Conference sponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers' Professional Liability.

For plaintiffs personal injury attorneys, the news is good. There was a significant decline (around 5 percent) in the number of claims against plaintiffs personal injury attorneys during the three-year period. This is a significant change.

For years, plaintiffs personal injury attorneys and real estate attorneys have battled for the top spot as the practice areas with the highest frequency of claims, with plaintiffs personal injury attorneys typically occupying the top spot. Based on the new data, the top spot now rests solely with real estate. More than one out of every four legal malpractice claims are against real estate attorneys. There are a number of factors that likely contribute to this change.

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