If you trust your attorney, you probably assume that the legal professional will deal honestly with you. This trust could lead to ignoring some behaviors that are unethical, even though they seem harmless.
The problem with many seemingly harmless behaviors is that they can result in decisions and actions that cost you money. The American Bar Association lists a few areas where mistakes could set malpractice in motion.
Offering bad advice
Suppose you are working with a divorce attorney, and while you are going through the divorce, you are in an injury accident. If you ask your attorney how to proceed with the other case, he or she should probably refer you to a personal injury attorney. Giving advice in a practice area where he or she does not have special training could result in decisions that cost you money.
An attorney may get you into trouble by being overconfident and failing to get to the heart of the matter. For example, an overconfident attorney may refuse a settlement offer and take a case to trial or fail to do the research on the details of a case.
Failing to communicate
You want to know what is happening with your case, no matter what it is, and going for weeks without a call or getting occasional emails from a paralegal is not adequate. When attorneys fail to communicate, it begs the question of whether they are even engaged in a case.
If your attorney makes a mistake, you should know about it. Making a mistake and then lying about it is likely to compound the harm that you suffer, and it may cost you your case.
When unethical behavior causes damages, you may be able to hold the attorney liable for the wrongdoing through a legal malpractice action.