Schwartz & Ponterio, PLLC holds lawyers responsible for legal malpractice.

When does a mistake become legal malpractice?

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2021 | Legal Malpractice

In New York, you expect your legal case to get the attention it deserves from your lawyer, you trust this professional to avoid costly mistakes. That is the general case, but your lawyer makes a mistake, you may be able to sue for legal malpractice.

When do legal errors bring cause for malpractice claims?

Everyone makes mistakes, often unintentionally. However, when the mistakes made by your attorney include these three elements, then it can be the basis for a legal malpractice suit:

  • Breach of duty of care
  • Demonstrable and provable attorney negligence
  • Significant collectible damage or further injury to client

These areas are subject to judicial review. If your lawyer’s mistake caused serious harm, the law allows you to pursue compensation.

Mistake vs. negligence

It is troubling to feel betrayed by your attorney. You hire them to work hard to win your case. Should they not only make a simple mistake but also derail your entire case, that could rise to the level of negligence. If your lawyer exhibits the following behaviors, then you might have a case for legal malpractice:

  • Missed deadlines, appointments, phone calls or court filings
  • Unresponsiveness or incompetence, such as not suing potential parties or interviewing key witnesses
  • Questionable ethics, such as falsifying fees

Holding officers of the court accountable

Negligent attorneys can be held accountable, be forced to pay damages for injuries they have caused and have their licenses revoked. You have the right to competent representation; when that fails, you have the right to remedial justice.