If an attorney violates the American Bar Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct, then they could be in breach of their contract with you, their client. The ABA’s rules have been adopted by all states except for California.
In New York, attorneys who are negligent, who breach your contract or who violate the ABA’s Rules of Professional Conduct can be held liable for legal malpractice.
What are the American Bar Association’s Rules of Conduct?
The American Bar Association has rules in eight major categories including:
- Transactions with people other than clients
- Public service
For example, under the category “law firms and association,” the ABA states that attorneys may not practice without being admitted properly or given the authority to practice in a specific jurisdiction. In the “advocate” category, there is a responsibility to deal fairly with other attorneys and parties involved in the case.
What is the importance of these rules of conduct?
Legally speaking, the importance is that the rules give guidelines for all attorneys to follow. By setting a bar for ethical contributions to the field, the ABA aims to keep attorneys of the highest level in practice. Unethical attorneys may face the loss of their licenses and be disbarred in some circumstances.
What should you do if your attorney makes an error?
First, if your attorney makes an error, you should speak with them about it. They may be willing to take steps to make it right if that error had a negative impact on your case.
If they do not want to admit to the error or you’ve lost out on the ability to make a claim because of it, then you may want to discuss your case with a new attorney who understands the rules of conduct and who can help you determine if you should pursue a legal malpractice case.
If you’re concerned about how your attorney has treated you or your case, don’t be afraid to ask for the options of others in the profession. Clients deserve support and respect as they go through troubling times in their lives.