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Legal Malpractice Attorney Overview

Representation in Cases Involving Lawyer Negligence

In many areas of our lives, we expect to be treated professionally and receive quality service from the people we hire, and the failure to live up to these standards can result in substantial damages. This is just as true for attorneys as it is in other fields, and while the damages for legal malpractice are more likely to be financial in nature rather than involving physical harm, victims may be able to recover these damages through a civil lawsuit.

If you have been harmed by an attorney's failure to handle your case in an appropriate manner, an experienced legal malpractice attorney can help you understand your options for pursuing compensation. A skilled lawyer can work with you to reach a positive outcome to your case by holding the attorney responsible for their misdeeds.

Elements of Legal Malpractice

While people may be unhappy with the results of a court case or legal matter, an unfavorable outcome alone does not constitute legal malpractice. Instead, a person must show that their attorney acted negligently or with intent to harm, and that damages were caused as a result. In most cases, a person must demonstrate four elements of legal malpractice:

  1. Attorney-client relationship - A person must have established a relationship with the attorney in which legal advice or assistance was promised and provided. In most cases, the attorney-client relationship is established by a contract or written agreement, but a person may also be able to demonstrate that a relationship was implied by a non-written agreement or actions taken by the parties.
  2. Breach of duty - An attorney must provide competent representation for their client. If they do not act in a way that another reasonable attorney with the skill necessary to provide the same legal services would have acted, this may be considered a breach of duty.
  3. Causation - An attorney's breach of duty must be the reason their client was not successful in their case.
  4. Damages - An attorney's breach of duty must have led to financial losses for their client.

Some common types of legal malpractice include:

  • Failure to correctly apply the law to a client's case
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Fraud
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Civil rights violations
  • Failure to file documents before court deadlines
  • Failure to respond to a client's communication
  • Mathematical or clerical errors

Meeting the requirements to prove that legal malpractice has occurred can be difficult, even if an attorney acted unethically or incompetently. If you believe that your attorney has committed negligent or willful legal malpractice against you, an experienced lawyer can help you understand your options for recovering damages through a civil lawsuit.

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