Legal malpractice is a serious issue because it directly impacts the client’s life, but some clients might not realize that they have any recourse. They may believe that the improper representation they received is normal and that there is nothing they can do to recover the damages.
It’s also possible that someone will misconstrue cases that don’t end in their favor and instead call it legal malpractice. There are no guarantees in the legal industry, so clients must realize that there is always a chance things won’t be resolved according to their wishes. This isn’t an issue unless they were promised a specific outcome by the attorney. Making unsubstantiated claims or false promises about the outcome of a case would be considered legal malpractice.
Most cited cause of legal malpractice
A look into legal malpractice claims provides a glimpse into the trends in this field. Across the board, conflicts of interests are the most cited reason for claims regarding legal malpractice. It’s important to note that the conflicts don’t necessarily come only from the conduct of one attorney. Instead, it could be the actions of a firm as a whole that lead to the claim.
Lateral hires and firms merging are often at the heart of these cases. When firms merge or hire new attorneys, they must ensure that there are no incidents that involve an attorney who represented one side being moved to represent the opposite side.
Area of the law matters
If you look at legal malpractice claims that are categorized by the area of the law to which they pertain, there are four areas that stand out. Business transactions lead the way. This is followed by corporate and securities. Real estate is third on the list, and fourth is estates and trusts.
Within these four areas, the primary causes of the malpractice claims were contracts that contained typographical errors, representation that wasn’t adequate, and a breach of fiduciary duty. Conflicts of interests were also noted as a primary cause in all four areas.
Protect your interests
If you think that you’re the victim of legal malpractice, don’t put off having your case evaluated. Like other areas of the law, there are strict time limits for handling these matters. If the deadline passes without filing your claim, you lose the ability to take action. Working with an attorney who handles legal malpractice claims can be invaluable.