5 errors that lead to legal malpractice allegations

Legal malpractice comes in many forms, but regardless of what happens, it impacts a client's case negatively. Whether it's an attorney who misses deadlines or one who has a conflict of interests, legal malpractice hurts the person the attorney is supposed to protect.

There are dozens of kinds of malpractice, but several are common. Here are the five most common types of legal malpractice alleged by American clients.

1. Not knowing the law or applying it to the case

If an attorney is overseeing a case, he or she needs to understand and apply the law. If he or she doesn't understand the laws that help or hurt the client, then he or she is doing a disservice to that client and should have passed on the case.

2. Failing to plan

Failing to plan includes everything from not thinking ahead or planning for a trial to forgetting to arrange meetings that don't conflict with other events.

3. Poor investigation

Without a good investigation or understanding of an investigation, it's hard to protect a client. If your attorney did not do a thorough investigation into your case by reviewing notes, talking to witnesses or taking other steps, he or she may not be equipped to handle it.

4. Missing deadlines

Missing deadlines is a serious concern. If an attorney misses a filing deadline, the client may lose the right to pursue a claim or to take a settlement.

5. Failing to mark dates on calendars/administrative errors

Finally, not marking down that a client is coming to a meeting or that he or she has a meeting with a judge is a serious mistake for an attorney or his or her office to make. Administrative errors can lead to malpractice claims.

These are just a few possible reasons you may consider filing a malpractice lawsuit. Attorneys are supposed to be on your side, but if they don't treat your case with care, you may have a right to a lawsuit against them.

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