When it comes to the topic of malpractice, most Floridians might connect such incidents with the medical field. However, professional malpractice cases are not uncommon in the state. Many of these cases involve conflict of interest between lawyer and client, but others stem from deeper, often more unsettling issues.
One report from the Miami Herald revealed that a number of Florida attorneys faced discipline from the state Supreme Court. Shockingly enough, these eight Miami-Dade and Broward attorneys were disciplined for not only neglect, but for greed and child pornography. This is not to say that these instances of neglect were minor; one attorney cost a client a whopping $192,000, and another forced a client to lose his job and move out of the country. Detailing each of the eight cases, the Herald shows that violating rules of incompetence and conflict of interest are still at play among Florida’s legal network. Although the discipline report mentioned eight attorneys and the subsequent penalties, many of these professionals are allowed to return to their practices in the near future.
The Florida Bar defines the rules of professional conduct in the state, reiterating that it is an attorney’s legal duty to exercise loyalty and independent judgment when working with a client. It is, however, common for conflict of interests to arise, especially when an attorney fulfills the responsibilities to another client, a former client or a third person. Conflicts of interest can also occur simply from a lawyer’s personal interests. While a lawyer’s own interests are not permitted to have adverse effects on the representation of a client, the Florida Bar makes evident that there are many details to consider when taking legal action in a professional malpractice case.