Forum

Legal Forums » Legal » Suing Your Lawyer


Started Nov 05 2012, 03:12

Nov 05 2012, 03:12
Sometimes lawyers make mistakes. If your attorney really screws up your case, you may consider suing for legal malpractice.

Before You Sue

If your lawyer didn't represent you properly, and you were harmed in the process, your lawyer might be liable to you for your loss. But before you pursue a lawsuit against your attorney, try these alternatives:

Discuss fee disputes with your attorney or engage in fee arbitration
Report potential ethics violations to your state bar association
Hire another lawyer to repair the damage to an ongoing case

If none of these alternatives brings satisfaction, you may want to consider a legal malpractice claim against your attorney. This type of case is difficult to prove, so you'll want to thoroughly investigate your chances of success before proceeding.

Types of Legal Malpractice Claims

Every case is different, but legal malpractice claims usually fall under three categories:

Negligence
Breach of fiduciary duty
Breach of contract

Negligence happens when your attorney fails to use the skill and care normally expected of a competent attorney.

Examples of negligence include:

Failing to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations time required under law
Missing other important deadlines in the case
Not properly preparing for trial
Not following court orders

Most legal malpractice claims that end up in court are a result of lawyer negligence.

Breach of fiduciary duty usually occurs when your lawyer has a conflict of interest that harms you in some way. Examples of breach of fiduciary duty include:

Representing another client to your disadvantage (such as representing another defendant in the same lawsuit)
Having financial or social ties or troubles that prevent your lawyer from representing you to your best advantage
Improper sexual advances toward you
Lying to you about important case information
Not telling you about settlement offers
Settling your case for less than it was worth without your approval
Inappropriately using money belonging to you

Breach of contract cases are brought against lawyers who violate the terms of their specific agreement with their client. Some examples include:

Failing to file a foreclosure action for a client after agreeing to do so
Failing to research the registration of certain patents as promised
Not filing a mechanics' lien for a client after agreeing to do so

Proving a Legal Malpractice Case

To win a negligence case against a lawyer, you must prove:

Your lawyer owed you a duty to competently represent you
He or she made a mistake or otherwise breached the duty owed to you
Your lawyer's mistake injured or harmed you in a way that can be measured financially

Legal malpractice attorneys usually charge a contingency fee of between 40 and 50 percent of the amount you eventually receive. This is a higher contingency fee than other types of negligence cases, because the legal malpractice lawyer has to work harder at proving a legal malpractice case.

In order to prove legal malpractice, you must show that:

You would have won your underlying case if your lawyer had not been incompetent or made a mistake
You would have collected on a judgment on your underlying case after winning the case

These things are difficult to prove. Also, most legal malpractice cases are tried in court rather than settled. This requires much more time and preparation from your legal malpractice lawyer.

Any legal malpractice lawyer considering taking your case will want to know whether your original lawyer had malpractice insurance to cover your losses. Your new attorney will balance whether your provable losses are high enough to risk investing the time and energy to take the matter to trial.

The time limit for filing a legal malpractice case can be as short as one year. So contact a legal malpractice lawyer right away if you think you might have a case against your attorney.

Questions for Your Attorney

Can I refuse to pay my attorney's bill for legal fees if I think he committed malpractice?
Should I report my attorney's mistake to the state bar association?
Who will decide if my attorney was negligent?

Regards
Rafia



We Speak Your Language

Tuesday, 22 October 2019
Legal Advice News
Welcome to Australia’s number one legal advice website.
Do you need legal help? If so, then you have come to the right place.
We cover all legal matters in every legal area Australia Wide, including:
For a full list of all legal areas covered please visit our Legal Advice Areas page.
If you need legal advice then please complete your Free Legal Enquiry Form to be put in contact with the best lawyer for your legal matter.
NEW Family Law Section
Our new family law section covers every legal aspect of family law. If you are going through a separation and would like to know your rights entitlements with respect to property and children, then please complete your Free Legal Enquiry Form to be put in contact with the best lawyer for your legal matter.
A new family law section covers all aspects of Family Law & Relationships including:
We also cover all Other family law and legal relationship issues including:
  • Resolving problems with your relationship
  • Counselling and other support for your relationship
  • Domestic violence: protecting yourself and getting help
  • Ending a marriage or civil partnership
  • Planning and getting a divorce
  • Ending a civil partnership
  • Legal separation
  • Money, property and possessions when your relationship ends
  • If you're ending a marriage or civil partnership
  • If you're not married or in a civil partnership
  • Financial planning when your relationship ends
  • Working out money and property using financial orders - 'ancillary relief'
  • Looking after children if you divorce or separate
  • Looking after children if your relationship ends
  • Children, divorce, separation and courts
To seek legal advice and assistance from a specialist family lawyer regarding your particular legal situation, please complete your FREE legal enquiry form on the left, or click here.
Our Free legal enquiry service extends to every State and Territory Capital including:
  • Sydney Legal Advice
  • Darwin Legal Advice
  • Brisbane Legal Advice
  • Adelaide Legal Advice
  • Hobart Legal Advice
  • Melbourne Legal Advice
  • Perth Legal Advice
  • Canberra Legal Advice
IF you have a legal matter, whether it be family law, conveyancing, property law, compensation law or any other matter requiring personal legal services, then enquiry today - and get the legal help you deserve!

Conveyancing legal advice

Are you looking at buying or selling real estate? If so, then you need legal advice from a
Conveyancing Solicitor. A conveyancing solicitor will help guide you through the process of buying and selling real estate. If you are a purchaser or vendor then it's important you get legal advice regarding your contractual rights and obligations.  To seek legal advice pertaining to conveyancing, please complete free legal enquiry form or click on the following link for further information regarding conveyancing:

Family Law Legal Advice - Divorce Legal Advice
Do you need legal advice regarding any aspect of
family law? are you thinking about having a divorce?  If so then you need legal advice from a qualified family lawyer.  Family laws can be quite complex and difficult to navigate which is why it is important to obtain sound legal advice in order to protect your position. Our free legal enquiry service covers all aspects of family law. So if you need a family lawyer to give you the best legal advice regarding your legal situation, then don't delay enquire today!

Have you been in a car accident?

If you have been involved in a car accident, then the chances are that you could be entitled to claim compensation. It is important you seek legal advice immediately following are car accident as there are stringent time limits that apply to the making of CTP claims.

If you have suffered a personal injury in a car accident, either as a:  driver, passenger, cyclist, motor cycle rider or pedestrian, you could be entitled to claim compensation, whether you have minor soft tissue injuries, whiplash, broken limbs, head injuries or far more serious injuries. It is important you obtain sound legal advice without any delay. Enquire today to find out what compensation you could be entitled to.

To find out what compensation entitlements you could receive for your injuries please complete our no obligation, FREE Online legal Enquiry Form

Car accidents happen every day. If you have been affected from a road related incident, the chances are you could be entitled to claim a compensation payout. You should seek legal advice immediately. even if you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident you could still be eligible to claim compensation. Please complete your free legal enquiry form to find out more.

There are time limits that apply to CTP claims and it is important to seek legal advice immediately to ensure that your rights entitlements are protected.

Have you been involved in an accident with uninsured vehicle?

If so then you could be Eligible to claim compensation against the nominal defendant.

It is important to seek legal advice immediately. - please complete your free legal enquiry form to be put in contact with a lawyer who can help you with your claim.

If you have been injured in a Road related accident either as a driver, passenger, pedestrian, motorcyclist or cyclist, you could be entitled to claim a significant compensation payout. You should seek legal advice immediately to find out what you could be entitled to claim.

Legal advice for family law matters

Do you need legal advice regarding family law? If so, please complete your free legal enquiry form. Going through a separation and divorce can be a difficult time for those involved and that's why the process needs to run as smoothly as possible. It is therefore important that proper legal advice be obtained from a qualified legal practitioner practising family law who can help you and give you the legal advice you need to guide you through your difficult situation and ensure that the matter is dealt with as fairly as possible. Please complete your free legal enquiry form to find out more.

Car Accident Compensation

Have you been in a car accident? where you a driver, rider, passenger or pedestrian? If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, then you could be entitled to claim a significant compensation payout. To find out more please complete your free legal enquiry form.

 

Cyclist Accidents and Injuries

Quite often cyclists are not given proper care and attention by other road users. This can result in accidents occurring between car, trucks and other motor vehicles with bicycle riders. Motorists often fail to give way to cyclists therby causing an accident with the cyclist.

If you are a cyclist who has been involved in an accident, then the chances are you could be entitled to receive a significant compensation payout from the CTP insurer of the driver that caused the accident.

To find out more, please complete your free legal enquiry form.

Looking for a specialist lawyer or legal information?

Please complete our fast and
free legal enquiry form or

Disclaimer: there are advertising laws affecting personal injury claims. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use.