When you hire or engage a legal professional, you expect them to use their expertise and knowledge of the law to help you achieve your objectives. Otherwise, it would beat the purpose of seeking their input in the first place.
Therefore, if your attorney’s incompetence or failure to discharge their duties with diligence causes you losses, you may hold them liable for their professional negligence. However, it does not mean that your attorney is wrong or failed in their duties whenever things don’t go your way. Their actions must amount to negligence for a valid malpractice claim. Here’s what that means:
There must be a breach of the duty of care
Like all other licensed professionals, lawyers are supposed to uphold certain standards when representing their clients. For instance, an attorney owes their clients a duty of utmost good faith. Should your lawyer breach this on other duties they owe you, it may form the basis of legal malpractice.
Some common claims include commingling, breach of confidentiality, lack of consent, fraud, failure to meet deadlines and conflict of interests.
There is no one way of proving legal malpractice. It involves showing that the attorney failed to fulfill their professional obligations. Would you have suffered similar losses or damages had another equally qualified attorney handled your case? Did your attorney make avoidable errors? In some cases, legal experts may be called to weigh in.
Protecting your rights and interests after legal malpractice
You may suffer significant damages due to unavoidable blunders by your legal team, and it is only fair that you recover your losses. As a victim of legal malpractice, it is best to seek informed guidance on the steps to take to hold the negligent parties accountable and get justice.