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Legal malpractice and what you need to prove it

Legal malpractice is the last thing you were probably expecting when you hired an attorney. You may be discouraged that your attorney wasn't doing as much as he or she should have for you, and you may feel that you were victimized a second time because of your attorney not taking your case seriously. A legal malpractice claim can be one way to move forward.

What do you need to show that your attorney was negligent with your case? The first, and typically easiest, thing to do is to show a lack of communication. Today's world has many ways to get in touch, and there are instant methods such as messaging software, email and even phone calls that should allow your attorney to stay in touch. Failing to do so can be a breach of ethics.

If you've tried to make many calls or communication attempts with no response, remember to keep track of when you called or communicated. Print out emails with time stamps, and get phone records. You can write your attorney a letter and date it, keeping a copy for yourself, asking why he or she is taking so long to work with you. In some cases, there's a good reason. If you don't hear back or have a resolution soon after the letter, you can show that you did attempt to communicate and did not receive the help you needed.

If you fire your attorney, it's likely that you'll be billed for any time he or she spent on your case. That's where your new attorney can help, since he or she can file a claim against your past attorney to relieve you of the bills you owe.

Source: FindLaw, "Legal Malpractice Claims," accessed Dec. 09, 2016

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