I’m going to talk about a subject most lawyers wish to avoid talking about: legal malpractice. The mentality of most lawyers (sometimes myself included) is they so fear crossing other lawyers in the community that they never wish to consider filing legal malpractice claims against other lawyers. Just like drivers, busienss owners, doctors, property owners and all other persons, lawyers are required to use requisite care when representing their clients. When lawyers don’t use the appropriate degree of care and they miss a key deadline or botch something – regardless of the reason – the client suffers.
If a lawyer truly cares about his client and he does screw up, the client should not suffer the results of the screw up. That lawyer would want his client to be adequately compensated for the mistake. Some mistakes are worse than others. For example, a lawyer might miss the deadline to file a lawsuit. If that happens, the client can never get compensation for his damages. Under this example, the lawyer must be held accountable for this mistake. That is the only way his client would ever have recourse for reasonable compensation for his injuries or damages.
If the safety and well-being of society is to improve, lawyers must also hold other lawyers accountable for their mistakes. That includes the choice to file a legal malpratice case on behalf of a client, if necessary.
And maybe, in the same way the threat of lawsuits increases the safety of products, safety of roads and safety of hospitals, it would also increase the quality of legal services in Tennessee.