New practicePRO resource: The immigration law malpractice claims fact sheet
The tenth in our series of “malpractice claims fact sheets” covers immigration law.
The number of malpractice claims flowing from immigration matters, while not many, has been trending up in recent years. Lawyer/client miscommunications cause 42% of these claims.
Immigration clients have a great deal at stake, and many pin their hopes on the efforts of lawyers who often have little control over the results of administrative decisions. In these circumstances, careful management of client expectations and regular communication about the status of a client’s matter are essential to prevent misunderstandings that can bloom into claims. Take care to provide good client services that are within your control, such as competent, complete, and accurate client documentation, and meeting deadlines.
LAWPRO has recently seen an increase in claims related to the potential for deportment of individuals under the “serious criminality” rule (s. 36(1)(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act). It’s the responsibility of immigration lawyers to consider the impact of criminal pleas and convictions on immigration status, and to encourage clients to retain the services of knowledgeable criminal lawyers where appropriate.