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A growing concern with attorney stress, client impact

Every occupational group has inherent stresses and pressures that can mar individuals’ work quality and compromise their delivery of services to third parties who depend on them.

Doctors are well known in that regard, for instance, as are airline pilots and police officers.

And lawyers. The legal profession is an occupational realm that is often spotlighted for the long hours it routinely requires of attorneys, the conflict that centrally marks many disputes, lawyers’ need to market and compete and other stressful factors.

Such influences collectively pressure many attorneys in California and nationally, although they are of course not available as legitimate excuses for failed representation that falls to the level of legal malpractice. Workers in every profession have job-linked stresses they must manage; lawyers are no different in that regard.

And yet their work universe is distinctly recognized for its unduly large percentage of troubled practitioners. Studies and reports routinely emerge to underscore lawyers’ personal problems that interfere with their ability to ably represent clients in accordance with a recognized standard of care.

One such study recently grabbed the attention of Supreme Court justices in one state, who term it a “call to action” for implementing occupational change. The report spotlights a “toxic” reality for a growing number of lawyers who are falling short in their client representation. Drug and alcohol use has become increasingly common among struggling attorneys, along with other performance-dampening behaviors.

The legal profession is unquestionably challenging, but hardly singular for being so. The bottom line is that most attorneys are routinely able to practice law in a competent manner expected in the industry. When they don’t, it is often their trusting clients who suffer the most.

Questions or concerns about deficient lawyer performance can be directed to an experienced legal team of pro-client legal malpractice attorneys.