People turn to attorneys for help with their legal matters in Jacksonville due to their unfamiliarity with the law and their inexperience in dealing with judicial procedures. The expectation is that not only will their attorneys provide the knowledge needed to support their claims, but also the assistance required to comply with the rules of the court. Often, many of those rules involve the simple filing of paperwork. While it may seem like a trivial detail, missing a filing date can lead to the complete dismissal of a case. In many situations, attorneys promise to handle those tasks for their clients. So what happens when they do not?
The American Bar Association lists a failure to file documents as being among the top five most common types of legal malpractice. One would think that filing paperwork would be the simplest aspect of a case, yet in many situations, such tasks are delegated. The danger that comes with doing that is that important details (such a filing requirements) are lost in translation between the different parties involved. That may come as little solace to a client who sees his or her case dismissed because of such an error.
Electronic filing methods would seem to make it easier to meet court-mandated deadlines. Yet information shared by the Professional Liability Fund shows that such technology creates its own new set of filing issues, such as:
- Errors in e-filing processes
- Legal professionals not backing up their internal storage databases
- Legal offices not retaining hard copies of important documents
In some situations, legal professional may not even understand the rules of the courts themselves. An example of this would be whether the court determines filing times to correspond with regular business hours.