What to do if you receive inadequate legal work

When you hire an attorney, you hope that this person will do whatever it takes to provide you with a high level of service. However, just the same as any other professional-client relationship, mistakes and disagreements can and do move to the forefront every now and again.

If you have any reason to believe you've received inadequate legal work, it's important to take a closer look at your situation with an eye toward formulating a plan for the future.

Here are some steps to take:

  • Discuss your concerns with your attorney: Sometimes, there is nothing more than a basic misunderstanding getting in the way of a sound working relationship. Express your feelings to your attorney and give them a chance to provide you with additional information and a solution.
  • Request your case file: If you don't feel like you're receiving the attention you deserve, you have the legal right to request your case file from your attorney. You can request that your attorney sends everything to you, or even visit their office in person to review (if you're comfortable with this). While you hope it doesn't come to this, you may need to sue your former attorney in order to receive your case file.
  • Get a second opinion: By asking another attorney to review your case and the work that's been done, you'll soon understand what you're up against. Maybe you find that your attorney has done nothing wrong. Or maybe you find that they've dropped the ball time after time.
  • Terminate the agreement with your attorney: You don't need a reason to terminate your attorney, as this is within your legal rights. Just make sure you understand what you're doing and that you may be on the hook for some costs associated with their service.
  • File a legal malpractice claim: If your attorney's negligence has cost you money, such as by overlooking a statute of limitations, you may want to file a legal malpractice claim. To do so, you must prove that your attorney was negligent and that without this you would have won your initial case.

You have high hopes when you hire an attorney, but things can take a turn for the worse during your relationship. If you receive inadequate legal work, learn more about your rights and take the necessary steps to protect yourself.

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