When you’re facing trouble, you want to know that your attorney has the skills needed to represent you appropriately. You have a right to adequate representation.
When you hire an attorney or are appointed one, that attorney should be familiar with the laws that affect your case (or get familiar with them by researching). When an attorney’s representation is exceedingly poor, it can mean the loss of your case. In some instances, like in criminal cases, you might be able to show that the attorney’s incompetence led to your conviction. In a personal injury case, you may turn to another attorney to file a legal malpractice lawsuit and show that the attorney did not represent you appropriately.
How do you prove that an attorney did not represent you adequately?
To start with, you will need to show that the attorney’s performance was substandard. You should show that the attorney’s performance was so poor that they didn’t perform their function and potentially deprived you of a fair case.
What does an attorney need to do in a criminal case to fairly represent a client?
Every case is a little different, but some of the things that a good defense attorney may do include:
- Investigating a case
- Seeking DNA or blood testing
- Cross-examining witnesses
- Objecting to harmful statements or evidence
- Knowing when they have a conflict of interest when representing the defendant
For example, if there is evidence that could be tested for DNA to prove or disprove a client’s connection to the item, the attorney should seek a DNA test to verify if DNA from the client was found. If they fail to do this but DNA evidence could have been used to clear the client’s name, then a client may argue that the attorney did not represent them adequately.
No one expects attorneys to be perfect, because the truth is that they are human and do make mistakes. However, it is necessary for them to be cautious about the steps they do or don’t take in a client’s case. If your attorney does not represent you accurately or adequately, it could mean a criminal conviction or the loss of a personal injury case, for example.
If you lose a case or are impacted because of your attorney’s lack of skill, you may want to consider filing a legal malpractice claim against them. Your new attorney can help you determine if this is a case worth fighting over.