We rely on lawyers to help settle cases, settlements, and different lawsuits. There are times though when they fall short of what you expect.
You expect a lawyer to help, but what do you do when they do the opposite, screwing up the case?
What are your rights?
If you’ve lost confidence, you can sue them for what’s called legal malpractice, but there are a few things that you need to understand. A lot of times though, is first you must understand that not every attorney is equal, so if you got burned once, you’re not supposedly going to get burned again.
Pursuing a Malpractice Case
This is hard to prove and win, since you must prove that the lawyer failed to truly use the skill and care that other lawyers would use when handling problems under similar conditions.
However, there are four things to know when you’re properly pursuing a malpractice case.
First, the duty that the attorney owed to someone.
Then, the breach of duty, which involves negligence, making mistakes, or what you didn’t do when you should’ve.
The next part is causation, which is the cause made by the attorney that created damages.
Finally you’ve got damages, which are the costs suffered due to financial losses to you.
The basic parts of this are all due to the problems associated with troubled relationships, oftentimes due to a lack of communication, the person being dishonest, and incompetence, along with not enough legal work, improper arbitration, and even excessive billings.
This is typically one of the main reasons legal malpractice lawsuits are taken.
Of these types of claims, they’re usually issues involving common problems, such as a failure to know and use the law, improper strategy and planning errors, not enough investigation or discovery, a failure to file proper documents, some procrastination, and of course, a breach of consent.
If you feel that this has happened, you may file a malpractice lawsuit against them.
Rights as A Client
As a client, there are a few things that you’re entitled to.
Your lawyer is expected to do these minimally:
- Guide your case properly and help you with it
- Update you on the case
- Tell you upfront what they think will happen in the case
- Let you make the important calls on your case
- Tell you about what it may cost you
- Help you get the cost-benefit evaluations that will help you
- Stay in communication with you.
- Inform of any setbacks, changes, or even delays
- Give you information to make the decisions
- Prepare you for the case, including trial prep and disposition
So what can you do as well? Well, the thing is, if you want to, you can fire a lawyer at any point, but unless the lawyer is violating rights or is truly bad, then it’s best to not go after them, unless you have any interest in the case.
Can I Get Information After
If you do fire a lawyer and someone else takes over it, then you can of course sign the authorization forms for this. While there may be a fee dispute in that you have to pay them, you are entitled to that information too, so that’s a good thing for you to consider as well.
When it comes to a lawyer, making sure you take the proper legal steps for this is important, and if you haven’t thought about alternatives already, do so. Remember you can sue for malpractice if you’re really hurt by what a lawyer has done.