Every time the geniuses in the Legislature add 10 more provisions to, say, the Texas Family Code, they lay 10 more mines in the malpractice minefield. And it shows: Even Texas’ most respected firms are being caught up in the malpractice web, as changes in laws and attitudes have emboldened clients to complain publicly, loudly and with litigation. There are certain steps, however, that can improve a lawyer’s chances of making it through those minefields — and they’re not expensive or difficult.

The statisticians and insurers are constantly whining and warning about the increase in malpractice cases. Now, as a small-firm litigator who deals with large firms on a regular basis, I find myself often reading about the woes of big firms and saying — under my breath, of course — “Well, it’s about time.” But every claim and every grievance complaint can be a learning experience, especially if lawyers have the advantage of being bystanders rather than participants.

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