Before civil cases go to trial in Florida, the parties involved go through what is known as the discovery process. During discovery, attorneys seek to gather evidence that could help them to negotiate a favorable settlement or prevail in court. This is done by requesting documents and asking relevant questions during depositions. If your attorney fails to gather enough evidence to support his or her arguments, you are likely to face an uphill battle as your case progresses.
Errors made during discovery can cast a long shadow. Important facts or relevant documents that remain hidden can severely undermine even a strong case, and failing to ask pertinent questions during depositions can be just as damaging. A divorcing spouse could find it easier to conceal assets during property division negotiations when a family law attorney does not to obtain their financial records or fails to ask probing questions about their income and living expenses, and a car accident victim could be at a disadvantage if their lawyer does not discover that the negligent driver responsible had been prescribed powerful narcotic medications.
Mistakes such as these can lead to far lower settlement offers or unfavorable jury verdicts. In some cases, failures during the discovery process can result in lawsuits being dismissed for lack of evidence. If your attorney made errors during the discovery process that raise questions about their competence or ethics, you may wish to consider pursuing a legal malpractice lawsuit.
Lawyers are required to act in the best interests of their clients, and the failure to discover important facts during discovery could be considered a breach of this fiduciary duty. If you have concerns about the legal representation you received and think your lawyer made mistakes that they should not have, you may wish to visit our page dealing with discovery to learn more about your options.