Common Bases Of Malpractice Claims
A lawyer cannot win every case. Sometimes, the facts or the law are just not in the client’s favor. Other times, however, the facts and the law are in the client’s favor, but the lawyer makes an error that seriously damages the case. If you believe that your lawyer committed legal malpractice, contact Stanger Stanfield Law in West Hartford, CT, today to schedule a consultation with an attorney to learn what steps you may be able to take.
What Is Legal Malpractice?
An attorney who has committed legal malpractice has breached a duty owed to a client, resulting in harm to the client, such as less favorable outcome or lost case. A lawyer who provides legal services that fall below the accepted levels in the legal profession has breached the duty of care owed to his or her clients.
Grounds for Legal Malpractice Claims
Grounds for legal malpractice claims vary widely, but some are more common than others:
Missed Deadlines: To keep the legal system moving along, state and federal governments impose limits on how much time plaintiffs have to file various types of lawsuits. When an attorney misses an important deadline, this can mean the difference between a successful lawsuit and no lawsuit at all.
Incompetence: A lawyer must be competent in the field of law in which the lawyer is working. This does not mean that the lawyer has to be an expert, but it does mean that the lawyer must be able to do the necessary work, research and advocacy. A lawyer who is incompetent can cause serious harm to a client’s interests.
Mistakes: A mistake by a lawyer is not necessarily malpractice. Some mistakes have no negative consequences; some may reflect a reasonable attorney’s way of doing things; and others may not have been inconsistent with the duty of care a lawyer owes a client. Serious errors that affect the outcome of a case, however, are another matter. These types of mistakes may be grounds for a malpractice claim.
Conflicts of Interest: The lawyer must provide the client with undivided loyalty. Conflicts of interest, therefore, are by and large not permitted in the practice of law. Business interests, personal conflicts and especially other clients can all present problems. Attorneys in the same firm are usually not allowed to work with opposing clients.
Speak with an Attorney
Legal malpractice lawsuits can be complex because the burden of proof is high. Mistake by a lawyer, unless extremely detrimental to a client, is usually not enough to sustain a legal malpractice claim. It is important to speak with an attorney who has experience in this area of the law. Contact Stanger Stanfield Law in West Hartford, CT, today to schedule a consultation with an attorney who can answer your questions and evaluate your case.