Legal Malpractice Lawyer
Most people are familiar with medical malpractice: A lawsuit filed against a medical professional who has caused harm to a patient because of negligence or a similar reason. But did you know that there are also legal malpractice actions which can be filed against an attorney who fails to represent his or her client per the standards and codes of professional and ethical conduct?
A client cannot file a legal malpractice lawsuit just because they are unhappy with the legal outcome of the case in which their attorney was representing them. However, as a legal malpractice lawyer in Towson, MD from a law firm like Seigel & Rouhana, LLC can explain, if the attorney breached the contract they had with their client, was negligent in their representation, or violated any of the rules of professional conduct set forth by the American Bar Association (ABA), there could be grounds for a legal malpractice claim.
If your attorney violated any of these rules or behaved negligently, contact a legal malpractice attorney from to find out what your legal recourse may be. Legal malpractice attorneys have extensive legal experience in these type of cases and appreciate just how difficult legal malpractice can be to prove.
In order for a jury to rule favorably for the client in a legal malpractice case, it must be proven that another attorney with similar background would have prevailed in the original case. There must be four elements present in order to make that case:
- The attorney owed a duty to the client to provide them with skillful and competent representation.
- The attorney breached that duty by making a mistake, or other negligent behavior.
- The attorney’s breach of duty caused the client a harm or injury.
- The client suffered a financial loss because of that harm.
Some of the more common forms of legal malpractice include:
- Neglect: An attorney exhibited a disregard of duty as a result of carelessness, indifference, or willfulness.
- Fiduciary: An attorney holds a position of authority (such as trustee) and uses that position to access the finances they are supposed to be safeguarding for their own benefit.
- Conflict of Interest: An attorney has a conflict with competing duties, such as representing clients who have interests that are adverse.
- Commingling: An attorney combines funds of clients, beneficiaries, employer, or other entity with his or her own funds.
How to Prove Legal Malpractice
As mentioned above, legal malpractice is difficult to prove. Not only do the four elements have to be present, but there also must be clear evidence to show to the jury that the client would have prevailed in the original case if their attorney had followed the standard and codes of professional and ethical conduct.
There are some areas that do not fall into that legal category, despite a client’s belief that their attorney’s actions counted as malpractice. For example, a client may accuse an attorney of conflict of interest because the attorney is good friends with the attorney representing the other party. However, as long as the attorney does not reveal any attorney-client information, it is not a conflict. (The truth is, in fact, that many attorneys on opposite sides of the courtroom are good friends.) However, if the client’s attorney shared privileged information with the other attorney which was used against the client during the trial, then it could be grounds for legal malpractice.
If you think you might have a legal malpractice claim on your hands, don’t hesitate to reach out to a qualified legal malpractice lawyer.