Don’t Blow the Statute!

Letting a statute of limitations date run on clients has always been a unavoidable part of many lawyer’s career. It seems that this practice is not going away very soon. Even though we have the new computerized calendars in our possession today that can store almost any type of information and remind us about events at the right time, things have not changed in the matter of SOL. We don’t say here that the new technology has failed in delivering because the truth is that lawyers are often the entities who make the mistake of missing their deadlines even when they know them.

There are several things that can cause a lawyer to botch his SOL. Some important tips are given below so any responsible attorneys and lawyers can avoid the worst case of missing out on deadlines on client cases.

Verification Of Facts From Sources That Are Reliable

Any facts that need to be uncovered and investigated before the SOL runs out must be confirmed from only the most reliable sources. You wouldn’t want to believe the words of your client all the time. If you want to confirm the date of accident, the time of collision, the exact place of accident and the name of the person who was driving, you must refer to the police records. Police records are reliable sources in this scenario. You might be constantly pursuing the negligent driver in the case and thinking that he is the owner of the vehicle when the case might be otherwise.

You should have ample knowledge of SOL and other statutes as to how they are applicable in different states. If you think that there are too many things to investigate in a very limited SOL duration, just say no to your client or you will get yourself in trouble.

Be Responsible For Things That Are Your Responsibilities

You should always have the right knowledge on when the SOLs will run on different aspects of the case and so the final decision should be your responsibility. It is best that you let your supporting staff create the SOL information and have it confirmed from you as to what the correct dates are. Manage time however you can to review everything on the file and case. The type of case, dates of hearings, names of parties involved, venue of the case etc. are pieces of information that you must know.

Reminders Are Your Best Friends

Set reminders and let the new computerized calendars help you on this one. The important thing here is to set the reminder dates prior to the actual deadlines or you will end up missing the deadlines for sure. If there is some work left the cushion you have kept to yourself by deploying an early reminder time will help you complete those tasks.

Withdrawing Should Be Done On Time

If you are thinking of withdrawing from a particular case then you should be responsible with this procedure as well. You don’t want to give your client a shock or surprise by withdrawing all of a sudden. The best practice by most professional lawyers is to inform the clients of their withdrawal nearly 6 months prior to their withdrawal.

If a client misses the SOL because you informed him about your withdrawal right when the SOL was about to run, you will be approached for recovery. In addition to that, when you know the client has brought a case to you in which there is not enough time to perform the tasks that are your responsibility, say no to the client.

Keep A Diary With You

Keep a diary with you to note down all the important dates of your case. Act like a salesman who keeps all the records of his sales, customers and the times when he will meet or call his customers. You want to make sure that you keep in touch with your client so he/she does not feel that you have completely forgotten about the case. In addition to that, you can note down important deadlines on the diary on a specific page and make sure you visit this page regularly to know what your high priority tasks are.

Filing Suit In Time

You have to ensure to file suit on time as well. It is always highly advised by the most professional lawyers that you file suit before there is only one month left from the SOL. This gives you enough time to revisit any errors that you might have made during the collection of information and filing. You never know when a natural disaster might ruin your files, an illness might prevent you from working or some other mishap might put all your activities at a stop. There are some firms that are very strict with the rule that an attorney should have his suit filed before there is only one month left for the SOL to run out.