Can I Sue My Lawyer?
We field calls every day from people asking, “Can I sue my lawyer in San Diego? Can I sue my lawyer in Los Angeles, or can I sue my lawyer in Orange County?”
Most people don’t realize that, as clients – or former clients, they do have the right to hire an attorney and file a case against their former attorney. People are often intimidated by their lawyer, or the process, so they’re afraid to consider suing a lawyer. Don’t be. There are legal malpractice lawyers who can help you. So, don’t wait if you think you may have a case against your lawyer because the statute of limitations on a legal malpractice case is often shorter than other kinds of claims.
What is legal malpractice? That is another question we hear all the time. Is legal malpractice similar to medical malpractice? Yes, and no. Although, both involve forms of professional negligence, there are different standards that apply and different requirements of proof. And, the damages are much different.
Legal malpractice may take many forms and arise from a variety of circumstances. Simple mistakes by a lawyer may not amount to legal malpractice. And, even serious errors or legal malpractice without any proof of actual damages, may not lead to a successful legal malpractice case.
You must have negligence, which is defined as “conduct below the standard of care in the community” and damages to have a successful legal malpractice case. And, in most cases you must be able to prove a “better result” could have been obtained but for the attorney’s negligence.
If you can’t prove negligence on the part of the lawyer (usually done through expert testimony of another lawyer) you will lose. If you can’t prove you would have achieved a better result, you will lose. And, if you can’t prove your actual damages were caused directly by the lawyers’ misconduct, you will not recover. Most successful legal malpractice cases require many elements.
Another question we are frequently asked is: “Has my lawyer committed malpractice?” Legal malpractice can exist in a partnership dispute. Legal malpractice can arise out of a business dispute, or a business litigation dispute. Legal malpractice can arise out of commercial litigation, an estate planning or probate matter, or even personal injury litigation. In any type of legal representation in which you think your lawyer has made serious mistakes, it may amount to legal malpractice and you should have it investigated by a competent legal malpractice attorney.
Many cases arise out of a lawyer mishandling a client’s money, property or business. Some lawyers self deal or put their own interests first. We find that ultimately many of these cases are driven by a lawyer’s greed. If you believe your lawyer has placed their own financial interests above yours and it has caused you to lose your case, has overcharged you, and/or has caused you financial harm, then you should call our office.
Please call and provide us with your potential case information at 619-696-6160
Areas of Legal Malpractice
Do You Have A Legal Malpractice Lawsuit?
Losing a legal case or being on the less favored side of a contract is not necessarily grounds for a legal malpractice claim. Sometimes the prospects for winning a case or having the upper hand of a contract are remote.
Likewise "winning" a case or contract negotiation may hide a malpractice issue of the types described above.
If you believe an error has occurred in your matter and deserves review - we are the group to go to for that advice.