Lawyers Journal

Traps for the Unwary on its way to all members

The sixth edition of Traps for the Unwary is being mailed to all MBA members this month. It is the first revision since 2004, and mentions numerous new hazards for lawyers to avoid.

"As laws and regulations increase in detail and complexity, more traps are created for lawyers, especially for lawyers who accept cases outside a narrow area of concentration," said James E. Harvey Jr., editor-in-chief of the sixth edition. Harvey, managing partner at O'Malley and Harvey LLP in Boston, also edited the first edition of Traps, in 1988. He is a former co-chair of the MBA's Civil Litigation Section.

"No one person knows all the traps that lurk in wait for lawyers, so we are lucky to have the combined wisdom of more than 100 lawyers who have contributed to the project," he said.

The publication's broad range of topics includes:

  • 26 short statutes of limitations;
  • A new chapter, Settlements and Releases, with 16 entries;
  • A list of obligations that are not dischargeable in bankruptcy;
  • The vulnerability of lawyers to large financial losses from criminal fraud when they transfer funds between parties;
  • The peculiar risks to lawyers insured under claims-made legal malpractice policies; and
  • The dangers to both plaintiff lawyers and defense counsel resulting from statutes of repose.

This edition includes a table of cases, an all-new index and a new system of organization, all designed to make Traps a quick desktop reference.

Funding for Traps for the Unwary has been provided by the MBA Insurance Agency Inc. n

A generous contribution from the MBA Insurance Agency Inc. has enabled the MBA to publish Traps for the Unwary and mail a copy to each member.

©2014 Massachusetts Bar Association