When you hire an attorney, you assume that this person will do whatever it takes to provide you with high level legal services to help put your problem to rest once and for all. And while this typically happens, legal malpractice is not out of the question.
Legal malpractice is the result of an attorney failing to provide services that meet the standards and codes of professional conduct. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Missing important deadlines
- Conflict of interest
- Commingling funds
If you have reason to believe you’re the victim of legal malpractice, here are some questions you can answer to better understand your situation and what to do next:
- Can you demonstrate negligence? Doing so means many things, such as proving that the attorney owed a duty and their negligence resulted in some type of harm, such as a financial loss or injury.
- Do you have evidence to back up your claim? It’s not good enough to assume that you’re the victim of legal malpractice. You need evidence to back up your claim, as it shows that the negligence of your attorney resulted in some form of harm.
- Have you discussed your concerns with your attorney? It’s never easy to do, as you don’t want to have this awkward conversation, but it’s better than cutting off all communication. Discuss your concerns, share your thoughts on moving forward and give the attorney the opportunity to make things right. You may find that a basic misunderstanding is all that’s happening.
- What are you hoping to accomplish? Filing a legal malpractice lawsuit may be an option, but you should have an idea of what you want to accomplish by doing so. For example, if the negligence resulted in a financial loss, you may be seeking compensation from the attorney.
If you suspect legal malpractice, don’t wait to discuss your concerns with your attorney and decide which steps to take. Maybe you can work things out and proceed as planned. Or maybe you now have another legal issue you need to take up.
Understanding your legal rights will allow you to make sound decisions that put you back on solid ground.