When Attorneys Commit Ethical Violations
All attorneys are subject to ethical rules that govern all aspects of conduct and hold attorneys to a higher standard than other professionals. When attorneys engage in conflicts of interest or commit other ethical violations, cases are jeopardized. Their clients may think they cannot do anything about it, but they can. They can file a lawsuit for legal malpractice.
At Schwartz, Ponterio & Levenson, PLLC, we have devoted much of our practice to holding unscrupulous and incompetent attorneys accountable for their misdeeds. We know how to analyze a case and discover whether an attorney committed ethical violations. Contact us through our website to set up a consultation with one of our legal malpractice lawyers.
Types Of Ethical Violations
A few types of ethical violations often committed by attorneys include:
- Conflicts of interest among clients: All attorneys are subject to ethical rules which mandate a duty of highest loyalty to the client. If attorneys take on two clients that have different interests in the same matter, their loyalties are inevitably divided.
- Making decisions without client consent: When you retain an attorney, you must be able to make all the major decisions in your case. But some attorneys will make important decisions on behalf of clients, such as accepting insufficient settlements and then forcing clients to agree. Such attorneys are typically motivated by getting money quickly for themselves rather than serving the client.
- Lying to clients: It should go without saying that all attorneys are required to be honest and truthful with their clients. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. At Schwartz, Ponterio & Levenson, PLLC, we have handled cases in which attorneys made bald-faced lies to clients, telling them that a case was ongoing or settled when it was actually dismissed. These are obvious ethical violations that should warrant legal malpractice claims.
- Fee disputes: Lawyers are prohibited by ethical rules from charging excessive fees. If you believe your attorney has charged an excessive fee, you may be able to recover the fee, even if you have already paid the fee.
Often, attorneys’ ethical lapses cause promising cases to fail. When this occurs, you can file a legal malpractice claim for the full amount that would have been recovered in the original case. In other cases, we help people recover the money they lost as a result of lies, exorbitant fees or other issues.