When faced with issues that call for a lawyer’s expertise, you get one because you think they will be of help. But what if do the opposite and even make things worse? Suing for legal malpractice may be an option.
How to Win a Malpractice Suit Against a Lawyer
The first thing requirement for winning a legal malpractice suit is proving that your lawyer made mistakes in how they handled you case. Then you need to show that without those mistakes, you could have won the underlying case. The last requirement is establishing that you could have collected from the defendant had you won that underlying case.
Usual Legal Malpractice (or Not) Scenarios
While there are a variety of scenarios that show how a client may consider – or not consider – suing their lawyer for legal malpractice, here are the most common:
Lawyer starts ignoring a case
The longer your lawyer stops working on your case, the guiltier they are of malpractice. But you must act swiftly to see if your case is in good hands, or whether or not you need to look for another lawyer.
Case dismissal due to lack of action from lawyer
This is definitely malpractice. But on top of proving the lawyer’s mishandling of your case, yo ualso need to show that you wuld have collected a judgment if you had won your case.
Decreasing the settlement amount recommended
When your lawyer downgrades the recommended settlement amount, it can be frustrating, but it does not constitute malpractice. Either they inflated the initial estimate to secure your business, or they found something that wasn’t there when you first discussed the case, thereby warranting the reduction. In any case, you have the option to get a second opinion and change lawyers if you think it is best thing to do.
Lawyer settles without client’s consent
This is another clear ground for legal malpractice. A lawyer is never allowed to settle without the client’s approval. To succeed in this type of malpractice case, you have to establish that the amount your lawyer settled for is low than what your case is worth.
Opposing lawyers socializing
There’s nothing wrong with two opposing lawyers interacting (for example, playing tennis, attending a social event, etc.), but when one attorney reveals confidential information about the clients to the other attorney, that is malpractice.
Lawyer on suspicion of misusing client’s money
If you suspect that your lawyer is using your funds for causes outside your case, You can complain to your state attorney’s regulatory agency immediately. If this proves unsuccessful, you can consider filing a legal malpractice suit so you can recover your money. If proven, this is without doubt a violation of your attorney’s duty to you.