Many attorneys take on large client loads, because they have waiting periods and time between hearings and other legal actions that they can use to work with new clients. For most attorneys, there is a point when they realize that they are busy enough, so they stop taking on new clients until one or more of their current cases has been resolved.
Unfortunately, some attorneys will keep taking on clients well beyond the number they can handle. As a result, they may make mistakes, blow deadlines and fail to communicate properly. In those cases, both the attorney and the clients are hurt. The attorney damages their reputation, and the client may lose the right to pursue their case or be left without a clear understanding of what they’re dealing with.
What are some legal malpractice red flags?
There may be signs that your new attorney is falling behind or unable to keep up with their work load. Some red flags include:
- Missed deadlines
- Failing to respond to calls, letters or other communications
- Failing to arrive in court on time
- Missing important court dates
- Acting without the client’s consent to save time
If your attorney does any of these things, then you may have a legal malpractice claim against them.
Among the issues you could run into, being told lies or having decisions made without your consent are among the worst. If your attorney takes action without your input, that’s the time to put a stop to that relationship. You should play a role in every major decision in your case. Your attorney should never make important decisions about your case on their own, such as accepting a settlement or forcing a client to agree to settle when they don’t want to, even if doing so would save them time.
Legal malpractice hurts more than just the client
Both attorneys and clients are hurt by legal malpractice, which is why your new attorney will be focused on taking care of this problem for you. When one attorney isn’t upholding the standards that the community expects, they should be held responsible for the sake of the clients they hurt.