Attorneys have a duty to represent their clients in cases. This doesn’t mean that the lawyer is the one who makes all the decisions about what needs to happen. Instead, they must consult the client to find out what the client needs and wants. Failing to find this out can lead to the lawyer facing legal malpractice claims.
When an attorney meets with a client, they will discuss the case. This usually includes determining what goal for the case the client has. The options that the lawyer tries to explore should work toward getting the client as close to that goal as feasible. Even when the options do follow that path, the client must still have a say in what’s going on.
There are some instances in which an attorney might want to obtain written consent from the client, but this isn’t always the case. It is possible for a client to give verbal consent for some decisions. It is up to the attorney to decide whether they are comfortable with verbal authorizations.
If an attorney doesn’t get any consent and makes decisions for their client, the client might opt to pursue a legal malpractice claim. In order to do this, the person must have damages that they incurred because of the lack of consent. For example, this might mean that they received a lower settlement in a personal injury case than they were actually willing to accept.
The legal malpractice claim will seek to recover those damages. The lawyer who helps them launch this case should help them ensure their rights are protected throughout it.