When a situation arises in which you need to hire a lawyer in Florida, you should feel confident that the person you select to work with will represent you fairly and provide services, information and counsel that is in your best interest. This is a relatively basic right and is actually something that is outlined in the guidance set forth by The Florida Bar as per the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Every attorney in Florida is held to a high level of ethical standards so that all persons represented by them receive fair and appropriate counsel that is truly in their best interest. This is true in any situation whether a person needs an attorney to create an estate plan, to represent them in a divorce or to defend them against criminal charges.
Everyone makes mistakes, even attorneys in Florida, and a legal mistake does not necessarily amount to malpractice. However, it is legal malpractice when an attorney's negligent, incompetent or dishonest professional conduct causes harm to one or more clients, and the attorney can face severe penalties, such as law license revocation and disbarment.
Attorneys should be trusting and open to talk with their clients. The trials they face could have a major impact on the client’s life. If they lose, the client could go to prison for years, miss out on thousands of dollars or not retain full custody of their child depending on the circumstances. No matter how bad the odds are, a lawyer needs to keep in touch with their client as much as possible so they can try to get the best results.
People may approach most attorneys in Florida automatically assuming that said professionals are more than capable of handling their cases. Oftentimes, such an assumption may be justified, given the positive experiences that many people have had when working with attorneys. Yet the complexities of the law can be quite difficult to comprehend (even for attorneys). Attorneys are expected, however, to use the many resources at their disposal to research all matters relevant to the cases they are arguing. One such resource is their own capacity to study case law and have a firm grip on all issues before going into a case.
You have probably heard the term "conflict of interest" used many times when describing the relationship between an attorney and a client. There is good reasoning behind this principle; you would not want your attorney's efforts on your behalf to be distracted due to obligations they might have to other parties. Yet past interactions that we here at St. Denis & Davey have had with clients has shown us that people often only want to work with one attorney in Florida, regardless of whether ethical rules might otherwise discourage them from doing so.
Much is often made about the duties inherent with the attorney-client relationship. It is true that a lawyer is expected to do all that is within their power to provide the best representation for their client. However, that effort is not expected to come at the expense of others. You could easily find yourself having to deal with attorneys over legal matters in Florida to which you have no direct relation. You might think that said attorneys owe no obligations to you, and thus will do whatever they can to you in order to further the interests of their clients. Fortunately, that is not true.
As a Floridian resident who depended on a legal professional to get you through a tough situation, it's normal to feel betrayed and hurt if they fail to do so. This is especially true if you feel like your loss stemmed from negligent actions on their part. However, there are still options for you. One is to pursue a legal malpractice suit.
Floridian residents just like you sometimes need legal guidance. Unfortunately, you may find yourself involved with a legal practice that does not uphold integrity. St. Denis & Davey, Attorneys at Law, shed light on the different actions a legal professional can take that may be considered malpractice.