Lawyers are human. Humans make mistakes. In officiating, law enforcement, marketing, business, and day to day life, mistakes are a part of the human condition. Was your lawyers mistake so egregious that a legal malpractice lawsuit must be filed?
Well, that’s the question. There are three basic questions to ask yourself. Considering these will help you weigh the necessary factors before deciding whether to pursue a lawsuit.
Was the act negligent?
Hindsight, the act of understanding a situation after it has occurred, is often the way an attorney’s actions are viewed. The way negligence should be considered, it to place yourself in your attorney’s situation or find someone who can view the situation from a bipartisan viewpoint. Attorneys are expected to handle each case by the community standard of care. This means, they are expected to handle the case and communicate with you the same way other attorneys would under the same or similar circumstances.
Were damages inflicted to the client?
If damages, such as the statute of limitations expiring, or settling too soon and leaving money on the table occurs, pursuing a lawsuit may be justified. In these instances, it still isn’t a cut and dry case, as “legal certainty,” the guarantee that the case would have gone in your favor had it been pursued correctly, must be proved.
Hoe excessive were the damages?
Did the actions of the attorney fall below the standard of care? Were any of them so extreme that it could lead to irreparable damages? When considering the standard of care and the pursuit of litigation, consider if your attorney committed any of these acts.