Montana Law Review, Vol. 37, No. 2 (Summer 1976), pp. 279-345


Our most distinguished professions do not maintain congruency between membership standards and actual performance. This deficiency is manifest; spiraling malpractice litigation witnesses a substantial increase in both the number of suits and the amount of recovery. Neither the professions nor public can long endure this trend. Governmental and possibly lay intervention in profession affairs is imminent unless the professions move decisively to understand better the dynamics of malpractice and do excise its causes. This article examines professional malpractice and existing responses to it, relates various cases in a calculus that can be employed to anticipate systemic patterns of malpractice, and suggests several approaches that should inhibit the development of such systemic patterns.