If you are considering suing your attorney, a good first step is evaluating what went wrong. It is important to remember that just because you lost your case, that does not mean your attorney committed malpractice. To win on a malpractice claim, you need to prove that the attorney’s mistake caused a financial loss to you. The loss can include the attorney’s fees and the damages that could have been won if it were not for the attorney’s mistake.
If, based on the above information, you believe you have a potential case of legal malpractice, the next step can be consulting with law firms who specialize in legal malpractice. Reading about other clients’ experiences with the firms you are considering is a helpful way to avoid another situation of poor representation.
Clients who want to sue their attorney should consider firing the attorney instead of having them finish out the case. It may be a difficult decision to let go of an attorney who has spent so much time on a case and start fresh with someone new, but if the attorney has made many grave mistakes, the errors are likely to continue. A new, more competent attorney may be able to obtain a result that is closer to your expected outcome.
It is vital to commence litigation against your attorney before the statute of limitations expires. With legal malpractice claims, the statute of limitations is “one year after the plaintiff discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the facts constituting the wrongful act or omission,” or the last date of representation (CCode of Civil Procedure section 340.6). Ensure that your new attorney files the initial complaint within one year of these events.