In a situation that is likely already overwhelming, discovering that an attorney has not provided quality, professional service can lead to yet another stressor. Floridians in these situations may be considering taking legal action. Before one takes these steps, it can prove helpful to know the most common ways lawyers can be guilty of malpractice, and what clients can do in these unfortunate situations.
An article from Business Insider is all too familiar with this type of professional malpractice, as it shares the following common ways lawyers can deceive clients during or after service:
- Double billing
- Expense accounts
- Padding hours
- Trivial tasks
Of course, there are many ways lawyers can cheat clients, but BI notes that billing two clients for one hour of work is a typical form of malpractice in the country. Using a study from Samford University’s Cumerland Law School, BI shows that a large percentage of lawyers felt double billing was not an unethical step in the first place. Other forms of deception — such as expense accounts, padding hours and trivial tasks — are also common, and often involve charging clients large sums of money for insignificant duties.
When a client finds that an attorney has not carried out honest practices, Findlaw states that a proper investigation can be crucial. Even when the client feels the attorney’s work is lacking, speaking first with the attorney about concerns can make a situation appear more manageable. Requesting one’s case file is another option. And although every client has the right to fire an attorney, Findlaw encourages readers to review all of the fine print before making any major decisions. In some cases, a dispute between a client and attorney may need the assistance of an objective third-party. Whatever the case, it is never a bad idea to read all documents and communicate openly with those involved when approaching these situations.