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

Common types of legal malpractice claims

On Behalf of | May 10, 2024 | Legal Malpractice

You need legal representation when the stakes are high, and you count on your attorney to act with due diligence and represent you to the best of their ability.

Unfortunately, they sometimes fall short, leading to harm or loss for their clients. If that happens, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Here are some of the most common types of legal malpractice claims.

1. Failure to meet deadlines

Some areas of the law have a statute of limitations, which is a window during which a client can legally bring a lawsuit. If a lawyer fails to file a document within the required timeframe, this can negatively impact the client’s case, often resulting in the dismissal of the lawsuit.

2. Inadequate investigation

Legal strategies are built on thorough investigations and discovery. Failure to conduct adequate research or gather all necessary information can leave gaps in a case and weaken the client’s position.

3. Poor communication

Effective communication is crucial between an attorney and their client. Clients need their lawyers to inform them about their case’s status, explain legal terminology and provide a clear understanding of possible outcomes. Failure to communicate can lead to misunderstandings.

4. Conflict of interest

It is unethical for an attorney to represent a client if a conflict of interest could interfere with representing their client’s best interest. Conflicts could include a personal relationship, financial interests or representing opposition parties in a case.

5. Fraud or misuse of client funds

Attorneys are expected to act with integrity. They have a fiduciary duty to manage their clients’ funds responsibly. Violating this trust damages the client financially and undermines the foundational principles of legal practice.

As a client, it’s important to understand the most common types of legal malpractice. This can help them recognize when they may need to take action, file a claim against their attorney and pursue different legal avenues.