Prime It: Your Duty to Expedite Litigation

July 31, 2023

Reading time: 2 minutes

Now that we have all caught our breath after the July sale – and every other retailer’s version of Prime Day – consider your duty to expedite your legal services (while Amazon expedites your shipping).

Like Google, “Prime” has now achieved the enviable syntactic conversion to a verb, as in, “Can you Prime it?” Nowadays, if the shipping time for your online order is longer than two days, it might as well be a lifetime. Yet, attorneys must also expedite delivery of their services. Specifically, Rule 3.2 of the ABA Model Rules requires lawyers to make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation consistent with the interests of the client.

The Comment to the Rule states that “[d]ilatory practices bring the administration of justice into disrepute.” Such dilatory practices can also open the door to malpractice claims or grievances. However, by making reasonable efforts to expedite litigation, you can avoid potential malpractice hazards, such as failing to timely communicate with your client about the status of their case (Rule 1.4) or diligently working on their behalf (Rule 1.3).

We have all heard the old adage (and perhaps used it to pacify an impatient client) that “The wheels of justice turn slowly…” And while there are certainly factors out of our control that affect the overall timeline of a case, such as the court’s docket or opposing counsel’s schedule, we probably all have a case or two that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. So, rather than scoff at the idea of “expediting” one more case on your already busy calendar, recall your duty to keep cases moving forward in a timely manner. After all, a happy customer (er, client) is a loyal one.


Additional Ethics content

Ethics

Although being retained as local counsel is a nice nod to your well-deserved reputation, it is not without risk. As with any case, be sure you can competently represent the client in the type of case and are able to devote the necessary time and attention to the matter.

Ethics

Sharing an office space with another lawyer or professional, even when not part of the same law practice, can be a completely ethical (and financially beneficial) endeavor.  However, there are some ethical boundaries to consider when sharing office space.

Ethics

There really is no escaping the practice of law unless you make a conscious effort to temporarily “unplug” from your work. With a little planning this can – and should – be done. Of course, there are ethical considerations to taking time away from the office.

Information provided by AttPro Ally is not intended as legal advice. This publication provides best practices for use in connection with general circumstances and ordinarily does not address specific situations. Specific situations should be discussed with legal counsel licensed in the appropriate jurisdiction. By publishing practice and risk prevention tips, Attorney Protective neither implies nor provides any guarantee that claims can be prevented by the use of the suggested practices. Though the contents of AttPro Ally have been carefully researched, Attorney Protective makes no warranty as to its accuracy, applicability, or timeliness. Anyone wishing to reproduce any part of the AttPro Ally content must request permission from Attorney Protective by calling 877-728-8776 or sending an email to [email protected].

© 2024 AttPro Ally. All rights reserved.