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

My attorney left town before my trial. Is that legal malpractice?

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2023 | Uncategorized

Facing a trial is stressful, and having your attorney leave town unexpectedly right before it begins can exacerbate that stress significantly. If you find yourself in this situation and the trial outcome is unfavorable, you might wonder if you have grounds for a legal malpractice case against your attorney.

Legal malpractice occurs when an attorney fails to provide competent and professional service to a client, and as a result, the client suffers harm. To prove legal malpractice, you typically need to establish four elements:

  1. Duty: There was an attorney-client relationship, establishing the attorney’s duty to act competently.
  2. Breach of duty: The attorney failed to meet the standard of care expected of a reasonable attorney under similar circumstances.
  3. Causation: This breach of duty directly caused harm to the client.
  4. Damages: The client suffered a financial loss as a result of the attorney’s negligence.

If your attorney leaves town before your trial, it could potentially be seen as a breach of duty, especially if it leaves you without adequate legal representation. However, the key question is whether this action ultimately impacts the outcome of your trial directly. For a malpractice claim to be successful, you would need to demonstrate that the outcome of your case would have been different if your attorney had not left.

What now?

If you believe you have grounds upon which to file a legal malpractice case, you’ll want to seek legal guidance from an attorney who practices legal malpractice law. Each situation is unique and requires careful evaluation of the circumstances and the impact of a lawyer’s conduct on their client’s situation. Consulting with a legal professional who is experienced in malpractice law can provide clarity and guidance on your rights and options under the law.