Legal malpractice is a terrible situation to be in, because it means your attorney has failed you due to negligence or disinterest in your case. It's important for your attorney to pay attention and to follow the law when working with clients. If he or she fails to do so and causes you to lose a case or to accept an unfair settlement against your wishes, you may have a case against the attorney.
These are a few different signs that your attorney has committed malpractice. Look out for these three signs to protect yourself.
1. You have to consent to a settlement before your attorney can accept it
If your attorney accepts a settlement offer without your permission, he or she has broken the law. It's unethical to accept a settlement without a client's permission. When a settlement is offered, your attorney needs to let you know and obtain your permission to accept it. If he or she does not, you can claim a breath of fiduciary duty in court against your attorney.
2. Your attorney should always return your calls
When you work with an attorney, it's important that he or she or his or her staff returns your calls. Failing to return a call is not against the law and isn't legal malpractice in an of itself, but it can be a warning sign that your attorney is not taking your case seriously. If you believe the attorney has stopped working on your case completely, then that might be a sign that you have a legal malpractice claim.
3. Your attorney must keep your communications confidential
It's absolutely necessary for your attorney to keep your communications confidential. That means that if you tell him or her something in confidence, he or she cannot then tell another attorney or even a family member about that information. This helps protect you and your case by preventing evidence or your discussions from reaching the court or prosecution.
You may wish to bring up your concerns to a different attorney for his or her opinion. If you've been financially injured due to your attorney's actions, you can pursue compensation.