No client hopes to file a legal malpractice claim against their attorney. However, it happens more often than law firms want to admit. In fact, several practice areas breed legal malpractice claims from former clients.
According to a recent study by insurance broker Ames and Gough, four practice areas generated the most significant number of claims due to conflict of interests or other legal issues. The areas include:
1. Business transactions
2. Corporate and securities
3. Commercial real estate
4. Trusts and estates
Each area attracts claims from clients for different reasons. For example, trusts and estates have a high volume of cases in the U.S. each year, and the subject matter is extremely personal and sensitive to clientele. If there is a mistake or issue, it makes sense that people would express their dissatisfaction.
For business transactions, clients often blame their lawyer if there are issues with the outcome. They will claim legal malpractice with improper representation or conflict of interests if it applies. Commercial real estate often receives claims for errors in documentation or creating conflicts.
But are these claims successful?
It’s important to note that not all claims are successful because it’s notoriously difficult to win a legal malpractice claim. Legal malpractice requires several elements including:
· Negligence on behalf of a client
· The harm caused by the careless behavior
· And financial loss due to that harm
You also have to prove there is “clear causation,” or if your attorney acted appropriately, you would have won your previous case or trial. It is hard to justify, but it is not impossible. Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of malpractice should consult with Florida laws about the process.