The most common problem we see in terms of legal malpractice is the failure of the attorney to properly communicate with the client. As a result, the client’s ability to litigate a case or receive representation has been permanently and adversely affected. This could be due to the expiration of the statute of limitations or the failure of the attorney to do something fundamentally required that results in a negative outcome for the client.
For example, the attorney fails to call upon an expert despite being prompted several times by the court. As a result, evidence is disallowed, causing an unfavorable outcome for the client. This is legal malpractice and we have prosecuted such a case.
Of course, this is just one example of many forms of legal malpractice. Others may include:
•Breach of contract
•Failure to collect evidence
•Failure to perform due diligence
•Misuse of funds
•Conflict of interest
•Failure to properly apply the law
•Failure to draft a document to protect the client.
•Failure to hire an expert.
•Failure to plead the proper complaint.
•Failure to answer discovery causing severe sanctions which jeopardize the case.
•Failure to adhere to court deadlines.
•Failure to prepare the client and witnesses.
How Legal Malpractice Is Determined
What most people do not realize is that legal malpractice is essentially two trials in one. First, you must prove that the attorney violated the standard of care. (This is similar to medical malpractice.) However, you must also prove that if the attorney had not violated the standard of care, the outcome would have been favorable. This process is heavily dependent on experts and the skills of an experienced legal malpractice attorney.
For example, you might accurately claim that an attorney did not ask you a certain question. This may violate the standard of care but, generally speaking, the outcome would not have been different. Perhaps the attorney did not appear to work very hard and always seemed rushed. This is certainly frustrating, but not necessarily a violation of the standard of care.
On the other hand, if the attorney did not contact a key witness or critical evidence was not requested or preserved, and this caused you to suffer harm or lose money, you may have a case for legal malpractice.
You Deserve Competent Legal Representation
If your case didn’t go according to plan, and you suspect your attorney’s negligence, carelessness, or mistakes had a direct impact on the outcome, you deserve to have another attorney review your case. We can determine whether legal malpractice has occurred and, if so, pursue financial compensation on your behalf.
Kolman Law is experienced in the complexity of legal malpractice and has successfully resolved cases on behalf of our clients. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.