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Duties of Lawyers in the Face of Cognitive Decline and Effect on Competency

Cognitive decline and professional competence of lawyers and clients are issues that every law office and lawyer need to be aware of and addressed before harm and damage result. Although often associated with aging, other potential causes can include substance abuse, depression and sleep deprivation. High-functioning professionals, such as lawyers, often mask a decline in professional competence longer than those others. Undetected cognitive decline can affect not only a lawyer's fitness for performance and duty, but also impede the ability of another lawyer to defend the impaired lawyer against a legal malpractice claim.  More ›