How Do I Prove Legal Malpractice in Texas?
As one of the top and only law firms specializing in legal malpractice in Texas, we receive numerous emails, calls, and website inquiries looking to file lawsuits against their attorneys.
The high number of inquiries is no surprise, as suing a lawyer can be challenging. Most people always want to know how they have enough evidence to prove legal malpractice.
To prove legal malpractice in Texas, you must meet four primary evidential requirements; duty, breach of that duty standard of care, proximate cause, and damages.
It is vital you get an experienced Houston legal malpractice attorney to help you meet all these evidentiary requirements. Let us explore the evidential requirements in-depth to prove your potential legal malpractice case.
Evidence of Duty of Care Due to Your Attorney-Client Relationship
You must provide evidence showing that a formal attorney-client relationship existed between you and the attorney or that you relied upon the action of an attorney and the attorney knew you were relying on the attorney’s action. As a result of this relationship, the attorney owed you a duty of care or conduct to have your best interest in mind as they provided you with their legal services.
If an attorney represented someone else (whom you know or do not know, but not you directly) in a transaction you were involved in, they do not owe you any duty of care. Evidence for the existence of a formal attorney-client relationship includes receipts of retainer payments and the presence of an agreement for legal representation between the attorney and you or some other type of evidence proving you and the attorney agreed to the attorney’s representation of your interests.
Evidence of Breach of Standard of Care or Conduct
Since the attorney owed you a duty of care and conduct, you must show evidence that they violated this duty as they offered you their legal services. Keep in mind that losing your case or making a mistake does not automatically mean that the lawyer caused damages to you or your case. The law acknowledges that attorneys are imperfect and cannot guarantee their clients’ success. It only requires attorneys to act as a reasonably competent attorney would have under the same or similar circumstances.
However, if a lawyer fails to act as a reasonably competent attorney would have, that violates the standard of care or standard of conduct. Our auspicious legal malpractice lawyers in Houston, TX, can help you find evidence to prove a breach of duty of care or conduct.
Evidence of Proximity Cause
In addition, you need to offer evidence demonstrating that the attorney’s actions or inactions that violated the standard of care or conduct are the proximate cause of whatever damage you sustained. You need to show that there was a “hypothetical alternative” to the actions or inactions of the attorney. Therefore, if they had taken that “hypothetical alternative,” the damages would not have occurred; meaning, but for the actions or inactions of the lawyer you were damaged.
Our accomplished legal malpractice attorneys in Texas take various approaches when aiding clients to demonstrate proximate cause. The most popular approach is establishing causation by trying the case within a case. We can also help you show causation relating to transactional malpractice.
Evidence for Damages
You must also show that you suffered foreseeable damages as a result of the actions or inactions of the attorney. In most legal malpractice cases, foreseeable damages are often the amount the client would have collected or avoided paying if the litigation in question had been handled correctly. These damages are calculated by comparing the amount that would have been paid in a competently handled trial with the amount paid in the case in question.
During the trial, an experienced legal malpractice attorney can allege that the actions or inactions of the attorney caused them mental anguish in some cases pursuant to some causes of action. Knowing which ones and how is important. Mental anguish damages vary from state to state. In Texas, a plaintiff is generally not allowed mental anguish damages in a negligence case if the plaintiff can be made whole economically. The question of whether metal anguish damages can be awarded where a plaintiff cannot be made whole economically is still an open question in Texas.
Don’t Let Legal Malpractice Go Unpunished – Kassab Law Firm Can Help
At Kassab Law Firm in Houston, we have some of Texas’s most accomplished legal malpractice attorneys. You can trust us to deliver the best outcome for your case. Contact us today for more insights on filing a legal malpractice case.