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

What are 3 of the top areas of law for malpractice claims?

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2023 | Legal Malpractice

In theory, legal malpractice could occur in just about any area of law. Criminal defense attorneys can make mistakes just like those who help people put together estate plans. However, data from the insurance industry makes it clear that there are certain trends regarding legal malpractice claims that make some areas of law more vulnerable to misconduct in representation than others.

Some kinds of malpractice claims are more common than others, while other types of claims often carry much higher price tags. According to a review of both frequency and overall financial value, there are three areas of legal practice that result in the most significant and most frequent malpractice claims.

1. Business and commercial transaction law

Lawyers often assume a key role in helping one organization perform its due diligence before a major commercial transaction. In a purchase, merger or similar large business transaction, adequate research is as important as negotiating proper terms and drafting a very thorough and specific contract. Failures by the lawyers representing businesses and their shareholders are among the most expensive and common sources of legal malpractice claims.

2. Commercial real estate law

Commercial real estate transactions can make or break a company, which is why they often bring in legal help. They likely expect that the lawyer they hire to help them with that process will properly review the property’s title history and help them avoid dangerous clauses in a purchase agreement. Buyers and sellers alike upset by the outcome of commercial real estate transactions or errors in documents are why real estate law sees such a high number of high-value malpractice claims.

3. Estate and trust law

The way that someone puts together an estate plan can have major implications on whether their legacy unfolds as intended and how much the family loses to probate costs during estate administration. Mistakes and oversights by lawyers helping people create estate plans or trusts or administer those trusts are another high-cost catalyst of legal malpractice claims.

The viability of a legal malpractice claim depends on not only someone’s ability to prove their lawyer deviated from best practices but also the ability to show personal losses and economic consequences related to those professional failures. Although it can be a challenge to embrace the legal process as a means of writing the wrongs from a prior legal matter, going back to court is often necessary for those harmed by a lawyer’s incompetence or unethical behavior.

Learning more about the current trends in legal malpractice claims – and seeking any necessary clarification from a legal professional – can benefit those who believe they may have received substandard or unprofessional legal representation.