Legal Malpractice Avoidance Tips – Use Countersigned Engagement Letters

Scott Eberle is on several insurance carriers defense panels. He’s been doing this type of work for many years. In my opinion, he’s one of the best presenters of legal malpractice and how to prevent it. So I think you’re in for a treat in terms of taking back some good information that you can implement in your firms.

Meet Scott Eberle

“My name is Scott Eberle, I am an attorney at Burns White in Pittsburgh where my practice focuses on representation of professionals, lawsuits and ethics matters. I’m focused on representation of lawyers in legal malpractice lawsuits, as well as ethics issues either in front of the office of disciplinary Council, or just general ethics consultation. I help attorneys navigate the issues that come up in their practice and I’m able to provide guidance on what you need to do to follow the rules of professional conduct to not get yourself in potential trouble with the disciplinary council.”

The technique of adding a signature to a previously signed document is known as countersigning. The agreement between two or more parties is approved by the countersignature. By having a client countersign documents, you have proof that the client received it and they read it.

Just remember, you must look at the engagement letter as a contract between you and the client. It’s a contract that basically says what you’re going to do, and how you’re going to do it. If you must approach that every time, there are some good samples out there that you can get on the internet. Those are great, I think, but I do caution you, I think the best way to effectively utilize an engagement letter is to customize it every time. Because if you’re not customizing the letter, you’re missing out on an opportunity to really limit your potential liability down the road if anything should ever come up.