Attorneys, like doctors, spend years in school to perfect their trade. They study complex legal concepts and learn how to argue cases in court, as well as how to proficiently negotiate on behalf of their clients. Because of all of the education involved, as well as the requirement to pass the bar exam, clients usually place a lot of trust in the attorneys they hire.
If you recently worked with an attorney, you probably chose them because they claim to know the area of law where you needed help. Unfortunately, attorneys can make mistakes that have dire consequences for the clients that hire them.
Whether you were bringing a lawsuit against someone who caused you financial losses or you needed help in defending against a criminal charge, you likely relied on your attorney to adequately represent you in court or negotiate on your behalf outside of court. If they failed in some critical manner, you may be able to take action for legal malpractice.
Did your attorney commit a gross professional oversight?
There are certain basic rules and laws that your attorney should know. Adequate professional knowledge is a cornerstone of good legal representation. From invoking critical legal precedent in a criminal defense strategy to filing paperwork by appropriate deadlines, there are certain things that clients need to be able to trust their attorneys to do on their behalf.
Clients should not have to remind their attorneys to file documents nor should they bear the responsibility for exploring precedent and legal code. Sadly, some attorneys fail their clients by not researching enough. Poor organization and scheduling can also cause issues, such as your attorney missing a key meeting.
When an attorney commits some kind of gross oversight that any competent attorney would consider a professional failure, that could be grounds for a legal malpractice suit, especially if you can directly connect the professional negligence on behalf of your attorney with an unfavorable outcome in court or in negotiations.
Did personal issues interfere with your attorney's performance?
Lawyers are people too, and they can often have difficult things going on in their personal lives that affect their job performance. From dealing with an illness in the family to their own divorce, the issues an attorney has in their personal life can impact their self-care and ability to perform their job. They could also disagree with you on critical issues, leading to unnecessary conflict.
If, instead of recognizing that they aren't doing their best work, they tried to soldier through and did a poor job, you shouldn't have to be the one to pay the price for that. It could be difficult to determine where legal malpractice begins and simple professional errors end.
If you have a feeling that your attorney's behavior constituted legal malpractice, it may be worth talking with a Denver attorney who has experience in this unique area of law.