What If Your Lawyer Causes You To Suffer Damages?
Lawyers are highly educated professionals that are expected to give clients competent legal services. In the event the lawyer fails to provide such services and as a result his or her client suffers damages, this is legal malpractice. The aggrieved client has the right to sue the lawyer however; the client will have to prove the assertion by demonstrating to the court that the lawyer erred in such a way that legal harm resulted. There are numerous examples of how this can happen; perhaps the lawyer neglected to file specified paperwork on time, the result being that the client’s case was lost. The lawyer’s failure to file the documents on time is legal malpractice.
Legal malpractice can be split into categories, including:
- Breach of contract, and
- Breach of fiduciary duty
The actions of a lawyer can be considered as negligence in the event he or she did not perform the legal duties that they were engaged to perform with the skill and legal acumen that one would expect from an average lawyer. When the lawyer performs below average and the result is damages to the client’s case, the client has the right to sue for malpractice.
When a client hires a lawyer to represent him, they enter into a contract that specifies what the duty, responsibility, and rights are of both the lawyer and the client. In the event the lawyer neglects to fulfill the obligations specified in the contract, he or she can be accused of breach of contract. Once again, the lawyer can be accused of malpractice in the event the breach causes damage to the client’s case.
When a lawyer agrees to represent a client the lawyer assumes a fiduciary duty to represent the best interests of the client. Should the lawyer put his interests in front of the interests of the client, this act is a breach of the lawyer’s fiduciary duty. If the client has reason to believe this happened, the attorney can be accused of legal malpractice.
Negligence, breach of both contract and fiduciary duty are the most common examples of legal malpractice, but there are more. If the lawyer fails to meet a court specified deadline or settle a case without seeking the approval of the client, these too are examples of malpractice. In the worse case, if a lawyer does not respond to the clients repeated attempts to contact him, this act can be seen as malpractice.