Pitfall # 3 – Failing to Check for Client Conflict of Interest
For law firms, the first step in reducing professional liability risk involves completing a conflict of interest checklist before you take on a new client.
Every law firm, no matter how small or how limited the practice area, must have computerized conflict database and a procedure to check and log a conflict review.
If your firm is still using a manual checklist to screen for conflict of interest or if you are relying on your memory, think again! We’re beyond the days where it’s okay to have a manual conflict checking system. Do you know how well software with a built in conflict checker mitigates risk and simplifies this tedious, but very critical task?
While developing a bullet-proof conflict of interest system is challenging, today’s computer software makes it easy to build an integrated database that quickly identifies conflicts of interest. All you have to do is keep the database up to date with clients, former clients, relationships, witnesses, interested parties and transactions.
To make it even easier, use legal billing software with a built in conflict checker. Because all your client details are already entered in your billing software, you only have to add other related client relationships, such as spouse, witness, etc. and then, run a conflict check as you take on new clients. It’s that easy with the right software.
Easy Soft to the Rescue
To avoid Pitfall # 3, make a conflict of interest check standard practice, before your firm establishes an attorney-client relationship. Conflict checking is simple. Easy TimeBill and Easy Trust have a built in conflict check utility-all you have to do is use it!