When you are a victim of a crime or another person's negligence, the last thing you want to have to deal with is an attorney who isn't paying attention to you. Legal malpractice has several forms, all of which clients should be aware of.
While you may think that all attorneys are the same, the reality is that there are good attorneys and bad attorneys. Sometimes, there are mediocre attorneys, too. It is a good idea to do your research before you work with someone, so you can make sure that they are thorough with their investigations and know what they are doing.
What is legal malpractice?
Legal malpractice is when an attorney does not perform to a standard that would be expected by the industry. Attorneys are expected to uphold codes of ethical and professional conduct. While losing a case does not automatically mean there was malpractice, a person could lose a case because of malpractice.
What do you have to prove in a legal malpractice claim?
If you would like to file a legal malpractice claim, you will need to show that the attorney you worked with owed you a duty of care including skillful and competent representation. You will also need to show that you had a financial loss and suffered an injury or harm of some kind. Additionally, it's necessary to show that the attorney either made a mistake or acted carelessly.
What are some common forms of legal malpractice?
There are a few common types of legal malpractice including a conflict of interest, neglect, fiduciary and commingling. Each of these types of malpractice results in losses for the client.
For example, the attorney may misuse the clients funds or charge them an unfair amount of money for the work put into the case. Another example would be if the attorney missed the statute of limitations on a case despite having time to file before the statute of limitations limited the client's right to file a lawsuit.
Every kind of legal malpractice has the potential to harm victims and prevent them from getting the compensation they need from their lawsuits. Attorneys have to be cautious to make sure they meet deadlines and always return clients' calls. Good communication makes a huge difference for clients, even if the case doesn't go their way in the end. Attorneys need to treat clients with respect, so clients who feel neglected need to have their say.