I stumbled across this article recently, and it struck me as very unfortunate. With so much to focus on leading up to trial, meeting deadlines can become an afterthought. Busy lawyers and paralegals can easily lose sight of the minutiae and this can be costly, not only financially but also on reputation. The case in Minnesota and this unfortunate miscalculation are just a few examples of many cases where deadline errors resulted in losing a case. No one wants to be in that situation and say to a client, “We just cost you the case because I haven’t honed my math skills in a while.” It seems to me that these outcomes could have been avoided.
According to the ABA, calendar and deadline-related errors are the leading cause of malpractice actions against lawyers. The leading cause! Whether a missed deadline results in malpractice action or not, one can imagine the consequences given the scope of litigation facing corporations today. With all of the preparation in the lead up, it’s important to keep the details in mind. As more and more general counsel’s offices look to bring work in-house, researching court rules and tracking deadlines will create yet another burden on legal staff who are already seeing their volume of work increase. Looking at ways to help alleviate that burden through the use of technology is one way to ensure that you never have to be the one to tell a client or the business that the case was lost due to an avoidable mistake.