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Could your staff cause a malpractice claim?

Legal malpractice is tricky because you have a responsibility to your client that may extend beyond just your own actions. A good example of this is how your staff could do something that leads to a malpractice claim against you. 

The American Bar Association explains that because you are the supervising attorney, you automatically take on the responsibility for any work they do, and if they make a mistake, it is the same as you doing it, which can lead to legal malpractice claims. 

Defending against claims

It is very difficult to defend against a malpractice claim due to a staff member’s negligence or incompetence. You are the manager of the whole case, so the law assumes that you have the ownership of anything anyone working under you does. You cannot use a defense that blames a staff member for a mistake or action. 

Preventing staff issues

The best way to protect yourself against malpractice claims for something a staff member does is to take oversight seriously. You should sign off on everything your staff does. You also need to constantly double-check their work to make sure they are handling things the way you want. 

In addition, it helps to properly train your staff. You want to provide comprehensive training about how you want things done and how to do them. You should only hire individuals who have the skills and background to handle the tasks of the job as well. 

You are responsible for anything that happens in your office, even if you do not directly do it. This means you have to stay on top of the work your staff is doing to avoid malpractice issues.