When a lawyer does something negligent or harmful that has a negative effect on both you, and your case, you may find that the only real way of getting justice is to take legal action against him or her. However, proving legal malpractice is not an easy thing to do. When something happens in your life that leads you to need the expertise and guidance of a lawyer, it usually means that an instance within your life has become too complex to be resolved on your own.
Typically, we turn to lawyers for help, and trust that they will be able to provide us with the knowledge and guidance we need to make it through a difficult situation. However, things can quickly become distressing when professional makes the situation worse. If you have lost your confidence in the legal system, and are thinking about suing your previous lawyer for malpractice, then there are some important factors to consider.
A Case of Malpractice will not be Easy
If your lawyer made some errors in your case that led to serious problems, then you do have the right to sue them for malpractice. Unfortunately, a lot of people find that winning a malpractice suit is not as simple as it might originally seem. Malpractice typically means that the lawyer or legal representative in question failed to use the correct level of skill and expertise that would be expected of the individual handling your case, or a case in similar circumstances.
Basically, you cannot simply sue a lawyer for malpractice just because they lost your case, as that attorney may have done everything in his or her power to help you.
What You need to Prove
To win a case of malpractice against your lawyer, you need to prove a selection of important things. First of all, you should prove that the lawyer owed you the duty of acting properly for your situation in regards to the client/attorney relationship.
Secondly, you need to prove that he or she breached the duty they owed to you, either by making a mistake, deliberately damaging the case, or being negligent. Thirdly, you will need to supply evidence that your lawyer’s behavior had a damaging effect on you, and finally, you will have to show that you suffered some form of loss as a result.
When does bad care become Malpractice?
There are some common complaints out there that a lot of people make about their lawyers, but how do you know when simply choosing the wrong lawyer, turns into malpractice?
Frist of all, if your lawyer fails to continue working on your case, and begins to ignore you when you’re asking for help, at first it may just be bad professionalism. However, the longer your lawyer fails to assist you the way that he or she should, the more likely it will amount to malpractice. If you notice this beginning to take place in your case, work fast to obtain a different lawyer and make sure that your case is properly represented before you can suffer any damages.
If your case ends up being thrown out of court because your lawyer failed to do the appropriate work building up to it, this may be classed as malpractice. However, you will have to prove that your lawyer mishandled the case, as well as providing evidence that if the case was handled correctly, a different outcome might have occurred.
Understanding what constitutes as malpractice and figuring out what to do next can be a complicated procedure, especially when you are dealing with the repercussions of a failed legal case. Ron Makarem is a certified Legal Malpractice Specialist by the State Bar of California. For further help and guidance, contact Makarem & Associates via phone at310.312.0299, or email at [email protected].