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Top Mistakes Lawyers Make -- and How to Avoid Them

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on May 24, 2016 2:15 PM

You? Make a mistake? No way. Never gonna happen. But for some other lawyers (we won't name names), mistakes are common place. And we're not just talking about a typo in a contract or court filing. There's a whole universe of mistakes attorneys make, from mishandling client funds (accidentally!) to misusing those fancy Latin phrases.

So, to help you that other guy out, here are some of the most common attorney screw ups and how to avoid them.

1. Ethical Dilemma of the Week: Accounting Mistakes and Client Funds

Accounting mistakes are common and they can have severe consequences. In fact, failing to maintain a client's funds in trust is one of the most common reasons lawyers face disciplinary action. So, even if you're not a genius when it comes to numbers, you need to stay on top of your accounting and avoid these common mistakes.

2. Want to Expand? Hiring the Right Help Is Crucial

Another common error: hiring the wrong help. Bringing on the wrong support staff, or bringing them on at the wrong time, can cause a world of hurt. So here's how to hire right.

3. 3 Hyperbole Mistakes That Only the Worst Lawyers Ever Make

Sometimes attorneys get a little carried away in the moment. A motion for summary judgement becomes a Manichean fight of unadulterated good against pure evil, a demand letter turns into the Gettysburg address. But such hyperbolic writing isn't just bad, it's not very convincing.

4. 7 Words Lawyers Misuse

For a profession whose work is largely written, plenty of lawyers still struggle with the pen. Whether it's Latin abbreviations or simple adjectives, there are a lot of words attorneys get wrong. Here's our top seven.

5. 3 Mistakes Lawyers Make When Responding to Demand Letters

Demand letters are, appropriately, demanding. Everything must be done "immediately," rights will be defending "vigorously," etc. How you respond, though, can set the tone for the rest of your interactions. So make sure you do it well, by avoiding these three mistakes.

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