AVOIDING NEGLIGENCE : A LAWYER'S GUIDE
I am writing a series of posts on the topic of “how not to get sued”. This is mainly aimed at personal injury practitioners, however many of the posts relate to procedure and will be of more general interest.
There is surprisingly little guidance given to lawyers on this topic. My interest stems from the fact that part of my own practice relates to dealing with limitation and procedural problems in the course of litigation. The stretches as far back as the “automatic striking out days” and I have maintained an interest in procedural default and limitation problems.
Given that honest, hard-working and extremely able lawyers can make mistakes it seems sensible to have some kind of strategy (or at least a discussion) on avoiding problems. We make a living as litigators because people make mistakes. It cannot be a great source of surprise that mistakes happen within the litigation process itself.
The plan is to start with limitation, progress to issues relating to the claim form, interlocutory proceedings and other orders and moving on to damages.
I would welcome “guest posts” from anyone who has an interest in this topic. I will link through to any relevant material that anyone sends me on the issue.
(Incidentally I have lectured on this subject several times. When we called the course “How to get sued, make a loss and be miserable” we had a packed house. When we changed it to “How not to get sued, not make a loss and not be miserable” we had a fraction of the number. As the Americans would say – go figure!)