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The most common kinds of legal malpractice defined

Legal malpractice can cost a client time and money. It can make it impossible for the client to make a claim, and it can mean that they are left with bills for litigation that wasn't completed in a timely manner or to the best of the attorney's ability.

What are the most common legal malpractice claims?

The top claim in the United States is that the attorney failed to know, understand or apply the law in the case. Other claims made against attorneys include failing to know the deadline for the case at number 6, clerical errors at number 15 and errors in math at number 20.

What does it mean to fail to apply the law during a case?

Basically, it means that the client believes that the attorney did not fully understand the laws that impacted the client's case, resulting in unwanted outcomes.

What does it mean that the attorney failed to know the deadline for the case?

Many documents have submission deadlines during pre-trials and trials. If the attorney didn't know about the deadline or allowed it to pass negligently, the client may no longer be able to pursue a claim.

What are clerical errors defined as?

Clerical errors are simple errors like recording errors in a legal description or writing down the wrong numbers during a settlement negotiation. These errors are most commonly caused by people in the attorney's office but not the attorney him or herself. Usually, proofreading can catch most of these mistakes, which is why it's important to look over every legal document you receive.

Source: American Bar Association, "The Most Common Legal Malpractice Claims by Type of Alleged Error," Dan Pinnington, accessed Dec. 29, 2016

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