What Does It Mean to Sue an Attorney?

Legal Malpractice

When you obtain a lawyer, you expect them to pursue the case at hand to the best of their ability, regardless of the specifics of the situation. Oftentimes, you are entrusting them with a case that has the power to change the trajectory of your life from a financial standpoint. But what happens when that attorney does nothing or even makes things worse? You may be able to sue an attorney for legal malpractice.

So what exactly is malpractice, how do you prove it, and what do you do about it? The experienced team of Houston malpractice lawyers at the Kassab Law Firm has the answers.

Lawyer Malpractice: What Is It?

Similar to doctors and other professionals, attorneys are subject to certain standards of ethics, standards of care and professional conduct. When the attorney does not adhere to these standards, such as by not upholding their duty or causing harm to their client, they can be sued for malpractice.

That said, it is more challenging than simply saying they did not adhere to standards. You must be able to prove it.

Common Mistakes Made by Attorneys

As with any legal matter, each case of malpractice is unique. However, a few common types of errors can be found in most situations. These include:

  • Failure to comply with a statute of limitations: If the deadline to file your case is missed, you may lose your chance at a legal resolution to your claim.
  • Basic legal incompetence: In situations where they do not have a basic knowledge of both the law and your case, yet still take your case, you may be able to sue for legal malpractice due to incompetence if harm is caused.
  • Failure to perform their duty as an attorney: A lawyer’s top priority should always be to protect and advocate for their client’s best interests. Examples of not doing so include breaking attorney-client privilege, taking on a case where there is a conflict of interest, or ignoring the wishes of their client altogether.

Other types of malpractice include but are not limited to making a severe error during a trial, showing up to work under the influence, or collecting fees while neglecting their client. These errors can result in the preclusion of evidence, a default judgment, or even the dismissal of the case.

How To Prove an Attorney’s Malpractice

As mentioned, to sue your lawyer for malpractice, you must prove they made errors in handling your case and that those errors caused damages. To do so, you must prove four basic things:

  • That the attorney owed you a duty
  • That the attorney breached that duty
  • That these actions hurt you financially
  • That you suffered losses as a result of these actions

In the most basic sense, you must show that your lawyer made an error, that you would have likely won your case if it had been handled differently, and that you would have been able to collect from the other party in the event that you won the underlying case.

Take Action Against Misconduct by Another Attorney

Finding the right attorney and getting the resolution you deserve is possible. If you believe your lawyer has failed to provide sufficient representation due to a lack of appropriate professional or ethical conduct, it is time to speak with a team of experienced malpractice lawyers in Houston.

Here at the Kassab Law Firm, we concentrate solely on plaintiffs’ legal malpractice law and represent both corporate entities and individuals nationwide. With more than 40  years of combined experience, we have what it takes to help you get the desired result. If you want to sue an attorney due to legal malpractice, call us today to start taking action.