Legal Malpractice Trends

The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability tracked trends of legal malpractice claims from 2012 through 2015 and made findings that include as follows:

  • Between the years 2011 and 2015, the number of claims with combined expense and indemnity settlements between $50,000 and $200,000 almost doubled;
  • Claims between $1 million and $2 million increased;
  • Claims with payments greater than $2 million went up;
  • Firms with a hundred or more attorneys saw the largest proportional increase in claim numbers.

Generally, legal malpractice occurs when, for example, an attorney’s acts or omissions (conduct) falls below that which is expected of an attorney under the circumstances.  Basically, a plaintiff in a legal malpractice case is tasked with the burden to prove that the attorney owed him or her a duty, breached that duty and caused damages related to that duty breach.