There are times when an issue arises that is beyond a person's knowledge or skill to handle. Car repairs, medical problems and home improvements may be more than some people can manage, so they contact a New York professional whose job it is to know the best course of action. The same is true when facing legal issues, and in those situations, one may call an attorney. However, if the attorney does not fulfill the client's expectations, when does this cross the line into legal malpractice?
While the personality of each lawyer is different, there are minimum expectations a client can have when dealing with a legal professional. It is important that the attorney communicate well with the client so the client can make informed decisions about how to proceed. An attorney who fails to return calls or messages, refuses to provide updated information or makes decisions without alerting the client to the potential consequences may be violating his or her duties.
An attorney has the obligation to provide the information a client needs, including the lawyer's recommendations about how to proceed. If an attorney does not warn the client of potential negative consequences of some action or inaction, the client's case may suffer. Further, a client has every right to expect an attorney to protect confidentiality, avoid conflicts of interest and maintain the highest degree of ethics and integrity throughout the case.
Not every client wins a case, but every client deserves competent, effective representation for an agreed-upon fee. If a lawyer fails to provide these basic standards and the client suffers loss because of it, the client has every right to pursue a legal malpractice claim. Such clients may benefit from the services of a New York attorney with experience holding attorneys accountable in court.