100 years + of collective legal malpractice experience

When a lawyer cannot be trusted

by | Nov 16, 2017 | Professional Malpractice |

It is generally seen as a comfort that professionals such as doctors, bankers and lawyers are dedicated to protecting clients. Yet when professionals do not maintain an ethical compass, a multitude of issues can ensue — not to mention the trust lost on behalf of the client. What happens when a lawyer is guilty of professional malpractice in Florida?

As black and white as lawyer-client relationships may often appear, there is a difference between an outcome that a client is unhappy with and a lawyer’s sheer neglect. And even though an attorney may have good intentions, professional malpractice can involve any ethical misstep that results in a client’s losses. 

The Stereotype

It is common for many groups to develop stereotypes, and although most are of a joking nature, some can have underlying truths. An article in Parade magazine looked into the popular stereotype of dishonest lawyers, but comes up with a reasonable explanation for the term. The reason? According to Parade, the fact that their professional ethics often require them to defend clients with extreme cases makes the job of an attorney a potentially complex one. Even still, the bad name is a misrepresentation of the profession–Parade concludes this piece by noting that it is simply unfair to judge the entire profession instead of the attorney themselves for dishonest behavior. 

The Potential Consequences 

Just as any industry can fall prey to corruption, attorneys can find themselves involved in tricky and unexpected legal cases as a result of dishonesty. The American Bar Association outlines some of the details involved in professional malpractice cases, first pointing out that it is both the duty of client and lawyer to establish a two-way system of trust. One fact of which many may be unaware is that, although lawyers face the same consequences as other citizens after an unlawful act, the nature of the law profession makes this aspect more complex. If a lawyer is found guilty of disclosing confidential information of a client, for example, they could be punished for unethical behavior.