Most people are familiar with the term malpractice as it applies to the medical profession, but fewer people understand that other professionals can also commit acts of malpractice. Attorneys and legal professionals can and sometimes do commit malpractice when providing services to their clients.
Under Colorado law, clients of attorneys who suffer legal or financial setbacks related to an intentional wrongful act or a omission have the right to pursue legal malpractice claims against the attorney involved. If you believe that an attorney you hired failed to provide you with adequate legal advice or advocacy in court, it is probably in your best interests to educate yourself about legal malpractice.
Your attorney has an obligation to fight for your best interests
It's common for people to disagree with their attorney about details of their situation or in the best way to approach a lawsuit or even a criminal defense strategy. Just because you don't agree with your attorney's approach, however, does not mean that he or she committed legal malpractice while representing you. Colorado law requires attorneys to put the needs of their clients first and creates penalties for those who fail to do so.
Malpractice involves a failure to fulfill the obligations that come with serving as an attorney for another person. It may be a failure to perform to best standards or it could be an intentional act that places the interests of the attorney above the interests of the client. Attorneys should do their best for each client. Whether they provide advice and guidance, draft contracts or build a criminal defense strategy, each action an attorney takes on behalf of a client should be in the best interests of that client.
When attorneys fail at their job, their clients suffer
In many cases, you entrust your attorney with your financial future or freedom. The success of your business may depend on the strength and viability of the contracts you sign. In cases of criminal charges, the ability of your attorney to argue on your behalf and draw attention to critical evidence can directly relate to whether you face conviction and what penalties you'll suffer. Failing to take action could cause severe issues, as could actions taken that don't help benefit and protect the client.
Clients of attorneys who don't fulfill their obligations have the right to seek compensation for the damages they suffer. Invalid contracts can cost a business thousands of dollars or even result in the failure of the company. Inadequate representation during a criminal trial can result in massive fines, jail time and a criminal record that can impact your income for many years to come.
There are many kinds of legal malpractice, and they can all be devastating for clients. If any attorney you trusted with your future has failed you, you may need to review the situation carefully to determine if it is actually a case of legal malpractice.