OSB Professional Liability Fund

Dealing with Deadlines

July 14, 2017
by Sheila Blackford

We all have deadlines to contend with, including those imposed by our clients, by opposing counsel, by the court, and by statute.
Sometimes lawyers put themselves (and their staff) through unnecessary stress and expose themselves to malpractice claims by waiting too long to comply with a deadline. You may have heard a fellow lawyer ask, “How do you calculate a statute of limitations deadline? Do you count today? Do you skip today and count the deadline date? What if the statute of limitations deadline falls on the weekend—it is extended to the following Monday?”  
The PLF publishes a helpful publication titled Oregon Statutory Time Limitations. The August 2014 edition is a whopping 672 pages. It is available in print and as a searchable PDF from the PLF website here.
One of the biggest malpractice traps is procrastination. The problem with waiting until the last minute is that something can come up to prevent you from getting it done by the last minute. Don’t put off a deadline to the last minute because you may make an error in calculating the deadline. Remember, the last minute allows for no margin of error. Be safe and get it filed or served leaving plenty of time to address any unforeseen problems. You will avoid an unnecessary malpractice trap and sleep better knowing you got your document timely filed or served.