Did your former attorney fail to file your lawsuit on time?
Did she make a fatal error that negatively impacted the outcome of your case?
Did you suffer significant damages due to a mistake your attorney made?
Did your attorney fail to do something important that he should have done?
If so, you may have a claim for legal malpractice.
Candidly, legal malpractice is one of the least popular areas of law.
And there is a good reason for it. A legal malpractice case requires one attorney to sue another attorney on behalf of a wronged former client for representation that was substandard. In other words, representation that failed to meet the standard of what a “reasonable” attorney would have done in that situation.
Errors do not always rise to the level of legal malpractice.
Since every set of facts, every client, and each case is different, a negative outcome alone does not mean that you have a valid claim for malpractice. In litigation, there is typically a “winner” and a “loser,” so being on the losing end of a case doesn’t necessarily meet the burden of legal malpractice. Your former attorney must have either failed to do something he or she should have done or done something detrimental to your case that a “reasonable” attorney—in the same situation and circumstances—would not have done. If this describes your past experience with an attorney, then you might have a claim for legal malpractice.
Common types of legal malpractice.
We tend to see the same types of errors made in the realm of legal malpractice. Some of the most common issues involve a lawyer’s failure to comply with the statute of limitations, the failure to prepare a timely notice of tort claim on cases where a governmental entity is involved, or some other missed deadline. These errors can have major consequences, such as the preclusion of evidence, a default judgment, or the dismissal of the case – all of which can result in significant monetary damages.
Legal malpractice cases are different than “regular” litigation cases.
What makes legal malpractice cases different from other types of cases is that they are essentially “a case within a case.” In essence, you must prove that “but for” the attorney’s malpractice, you would have won the case – which can mean retrying that case. The underlying case—the one in which the substandard representation occurred—becomes the foundation of the legal malpractice case against the lawyer. There are two parts to a legal malpractice claim: (1) liability—fault on the part of the past attorney; and (2) damages—the harm suffered. You must have both in order to successfully bring a legal malpractice action. In some instances, the liability for the legal malpractice may be clear, but the damages may be minimal or difficult to quantify or prove. This is often characterized by the common analogy of “Running the stop sign without hitting anyone.”
An unfavorable result doesn’t necessarily mean there was legal malpractice.
Even if there was an unfavorable result in an underlying case, it doesn’t necessarily mean that legal malpractice was committed. To determine if your former attorney/case meets the burden and has a high probability of success, you should speak with an experienced legal malpractice attorney to explain the specific details of your situation.
What do you need?
You need someone on YOUR side who will fight for you. You need someone to protect YOUR interests and step into the legal ring to be your advocate. That’s exactly what WE do. We have a litigation team of experienced attorneys and professional paralegals who will work—not just hard, but strategically—on your behalf to make the process as efficient as possible. We’ll step in to do the heavy (legal) lifting, so you can get back to your life. We’ll focus on your case, so you can focus on moving forward.
We have experienced legal malpractice attorney who have extensive trial experience!
We have two attorneys on our litigation team who have more than 70 years of litigation experience between them. Our firm has been handling legal malpractice claims for over 25 years. Our attorneys understand the nuances associated with legal malpractice cases. They have extensive trial experience. And most importantly—they are NICE lawyers who will aggressively work to obtain a great result for you.
We will listen to the facts of your situation, do our best to explain the process and lay out your options, and provide you with the reliable legal guidance needed to help you get what you deserve. Now, how can we help you today?
“A stiff apology is a second insult . . . The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.”
– Gilbert K. Chesterton