In 1994, Professor Manuel R. Ramos published a law review article called, Legal Malpractice: The Profession’s Dirty Little Secret.1 As suggested by the title, Professor Ramos argued that legal malpractice was a “taboo subject” that has been “ignored by the legal profession, law schools, mandatory continuing legal education (“CLE”) programs, and even by scholarly and lay publications.”2 Thirty years later, legal malpractice is an ever-present threat that lawyers cannot afford to ignore.
On a daily basis we are bombarded with reports of lawyers and their firms being named in malpractice suits and disqualification matters. In fact, a daily electronic newsletter digests many of these stories.3 On a typical day, the newsletter includes ten to fifteen accounts of matters in which lawyers are on the hot seat. Lawyers appear to be keenly interested in reading and talking about the fates of others. Some may be interested in learning from the misfortunes of others. Many others may think: “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”