Florida residents may know Lenny Dykstra from his days playing baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies. However, he has recently pursued legal action against lawyers who represented him in a case stemming from an incident in 2012. The legal malpractice suit against Boucher LLP was filed in February 2017, and it claims that his attorneys failed to do anything meaningful during a discovery period. According to the complaint, the firm was retained by Dykstra in September 2015.
When clients hire lawyers in Florida and across the country, they expect that their cases will be handled professionally, properly, and with their best interests in mind. However, sometimes a lawyer will drop the ball on your case, resulting in legal malpractice. One example of this is an improper settlement.
A Florida attorney is being accused of a conflict of interest in a case where a pastor is facing criminal charges of child sexual abuse. The pastor allegedly hired a defense attorney who had previously engaged in a romantic relationship with the pastor's accuser in 2012, after she became an adult. According to the plaintiff's lawyer, both the pastor and the lawyer were fully aware of the nature of the relationship. The plaintiff's lawyer argued that the defense lawyer should be disqualified as he could be called as a potential witness by either party in the case.
Lawsuits that are filed in the state of Florida may be subject to statutes of limitation. A statute of limitation is the deadline by which an individual must file a lawsuit or potentially lose the right to do so forever. For instance, the statute of limitations in a personal injury case is generally two years from the date an injury occurred. Alternatively, it could be two years from the time a person first believed that he or she was hurt because of someone else's negligence.
Attorney malpractice can have major ramifications for a client in Florida. However, just because an attorney makes a bad decision doesn't mean that the error was egregious in any way. When determining if an attorney committed malpractice, it's important to figure out if negligence occurred. A negligent act occurs when an individual breaches a duty of care by taking actions that aren't reasonable or prudent.
An attorney hired to represent someone in Florida owes fiduciary duties to the client. According to Chron, one of these duties is confidentiality. In other words, an attorney generally cannot share information about a client except in two specific circumstances: If the breach is in the client's interest, or if the client gives permission. Sharing confidential information about a client when neither of these conditions is present usually represents a breach of the attorney's fiduciary duty to the client.
When you hire an attorney in Florida, you are placing him or her in a position of trust. You count on your attorney to represent your interests in court in a way that you are not able to do. This makes your attorney a fiduciary, i.e., someone with the authority to act in someone else's interest.
People who live in Florida often are in need of the services of an attorney. The need for legal counsel can range from business affairs to more personal matters like an adoption, a divorce, an estate plan or something else. Regardless of the type of law an attorney practices, the professional is bound by the obligation to act in the best interest of the client at all times. If this does not happen, the client may have the need and the right to pursue action against the attorney.
If you have ever had the need to seek the advice and services of an attorney in Florida, you may have wondered how to effectively select a lawyer. One of the concerns people sometimes have when they need to hire a lawyer is how they can find a professional that will properly represent them and who will not end up causing them more harm than good by making negligent mistakes. However, it is important to understand that not every error that an attorney makes may necessarily be considered legal malpractice.
As has been detailed on this blog in the past, advertising is often a requirement that accompanies the practice of law. Attorneys need to secure new clients, and thus having a strong, solid reputation is important for any hoping to develop a strong following in Florida. Because of this need, you might assume that ensuring that a lawyer does their due diligence in representing you would not be an issue. Yet complaints leveled against attorneys regarding this very topic are common. The difficulty in supporting them, however, is that diligence may seem to be such a subjective term.