A lawyer is supposed to help guide you through legal situations that are likely too complex to handle on your own. However, when you find a lawyer, you may not know how trustworthy they are until it’s too late. There’s a chance that the lawyer who is helping with your case committed legal malpractice. This opens up your lawyer for lawsuits in the long run. Let’s take a look at what it entails when a lawyer commits legal malpractice. Just keep in mind, legal malpractice, just like any type of malpractice is hard to prove.
Malpractice means the lawyer failed to use ordinary skill that would be expected of other lawyers in dealing with the same problem. You must be able to prove the following to win a malpractice case against an attorney:
1). The attorney owed you a duty to act properly
2). Breach of duty – that the attorney was negligent, made a mistake or did not do what they agreed to do
3). (Causation) the lawyers conduct hurt you financially
4). (Damages) that you suffered financial lost as a result
If your lawyer stops working on your case this could become problematic and lead to legal malpractice. The longer your lawyer ignores you and your case the more likely this will lead to legal malpractice. You may need to retain another lawyer if you suspect your current lawyer is committing malpractice. It’s never a good sign if your lawyer stops working on your case.
Another possible instance of legal practice is if your lawyer mishandled your case and if handled correctly you could have won the case. This will be hard to prove, but if proven you can recover the money from your lawyer that would have been won from your case if it was handled correctly.
If a lawyer settles your case without authorization, this is malpractice. A lawyer cannot agree to a settlement without the client’s approval. But if you plan on having a successful malpractice case, you must be able to prove that the settlement was for less than the case was actually worth.
If your lawyer misuses your retainer money, such as stealing your money, this is malpractice. Lawyers are only supposed to use your money for your case.
If you suspect legal malpractice and your legal has been unethical in dealing with your case give us a call at (505) 242-7200. The Davis Kelin Law Firm handles legal malpractice cases throughout all of New Mexico. We are Albuquerque’s Premier Personal Injury Law Firm.