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

How can you prove your attorney breached their duty of care?

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2024 | Legal Malpractice

Attorneys are expected to provide legal services to their clients with a reasonable standard of care, competence, and diligence. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

People who suffer losses as a result of negligence by attorneys can seek to recover damages by filing a legal malpractice lawsuit. However, one of the elements that must be proven is the breach of duty of care. There are several ways this can be proven, including the following.

Fraud or misrepresentation

If your attorney engaged in fraudulent or deceptive practices, such as knowingly providing false information, concealing material facts or misleading you about the status of your case or the law, this can be a clear indication of a breach of duty of care. Documented evidence of these actions, such as emails, letters or recorded conversations, can support your claim.

Conflict of interest

An attorney is required to avoid conflicts of interest that could negatively impact their ability to represent you effectively. If your attorney represented another party whose interests were adverse to yours without your informed consent, this can be a breach of duty of care. Evidence of the conflict and how it affected your case can substantiate this claim.

Missed deadlines or failure to file documents

Attorneys must adhere to legal deadlines and filing requirements. If your attorney missed crucial deadlines, such as the statute of limitations, court dates or filing dates for important documents, and this failure negatively impacted your case, it can demonstrate a breach of duty. Correspondence, court records and other documentation showing missed deadlines can be pivotal in proving this.

Inadequate investigation or preparation

Your attorney is expected to conduct a thorough investigation and be adequately prepared to handle your case. If they failed to gather essential evidence, interview key witnesses or perform necessary legal research and this lack of preparation harmed your case, it can be seen as a breach of duty. 

Proving legal malpractice can be a complex affair, and it is important to seek legal guidance and representation to help with the case.