Risk Update

Risks of Acting as Replacement Counsel

I always find something worthwhile in this article series published by Dentons partners Shari Klevens and Alanna Clair: “Consider the Risks When Acting as Replacement Counsel” —

  • “Although the attorney’s representation may start in the middle of a lawsuit, it is still generally a new representation for the attorney’s law firm. Thus, while replacement counsel may feel the need to take urgent action, problems can arise where attorneys fail to follow their firm’s typical client intake procedures.”
  • “However, law firms have client intake procedures for a reason. In some situations, there may be conflict issues that need to be resolved. The firm may have a standard required engagement letter to govern the scope of the representation as well as other issues. Even where the representation begins in a hurried manner, taking the time to follow the firm’s standard procedures for opening matters can help reduce the overall risk.”
  • “One of the biggest risks for replacement counsel is that deadlines will get missed or forgotten in the transition. Accordingly, as one of the first tasks for replacement counsel, it is helpful to independently identify any deadlines that may need to be addressed. Replacement counsel may expect that the client or prior counsel will identify any imminent deadlines. However, the risk can be severe if the replacement counsel does not separately confirm whether there are any other deadlines or that the reported deadlines have been calculated correctly.”