The legal system has been set up to protect people. In most cases, lawyers are here to fight for those who may be unable to fight for themselves, and they offer a great service to those who have been injured or wronged. Unfortunately, there are times where legal malpractice occurs. Legal malpractice cases can be very complicated, so you’re encouraged to seek the assistance of an experienced legal malpractice attorney.
What is Legal Malpractice?
Legal malpractice occurs when a person claims that they have suffered damage due to their attorney’s negligence. Some common examples of legal malpractice include:
- The lawyer missing set deadlines to file paperwork regarding the case
- Allowing their client’s case to be dismissed without doing their part to fight the dismissal
- Being careless when collecting evidence and composing paperwork regarding the case
- Not thoroughly investigating the case
- Breach of contract with the client
- Acting in a manner that suits their interests more than their client’s interests
- Ethical conflicts between attorney and client
Proving Legal Malpractice
In order for you to prove that legal malpractice occurred, you must be able to demonstrate the following:
- That there was indeed a client-attorney relationship -– without this established relationship, the attorney has no duty to the client
- That your attorney was negligent in his legal representation of your case –- you must be able to prove that your attorney breached the “standard of care” that you were to receive while he was representing you
- That your attorney’s negligence caused you direct injury and the extent of the injury
A difficult aspect of legal malpractice cases is what is known as the “attorney judgment rule.” Under this rule, if the lawyer acted in good faith and made errors in judgment with honest intentions, he cannot be held liable for these errors.
Another issue that affects legal malpractice cases is the ever changing legal system. Lawyers cannot be held liable for changes in the law during the course of their case. If there is new legislation that occurs after an attorney has advised his client, that attorney is not held responsible for the advice or legal representation they gave.
Legal malpractice cases can be one of the most complicated and difficult cases to deal with. The attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers have handled many legal malpractice cases, and we have the skills needed to protect your rights during this difficult process.