Legal Malpractice Overview
Although unfortunate, attorney malpractice can occur at law firms of all sizes and in the full spectrum of legal practice areas. Whether the attorney wrongdoing that damaged your case was due to negligence, incompetence — or was deliberate sabotage — you have the right to legal recourse.
At Stanford, Ryan And Associates, APC we handle a broad range of legal malpractice cases, including those related to corporate law, bet the company ligitation, probate and estate planning, tax law, litigation, contracts and conflict of interest. Our San Diego law firm is dedicated full time to assisting clients throughout California with significant legal malpractice cases. If you are a lawyer who believes their clients are victims of malpractice you should call us today instead of giving your client advice. The statute of limitations is a major issue and you do not want to give your client the wrong advice!
What Is Legal Malpractice?
Legal malpractice refers to an attorney’s negligence; breach of fiduciary duty; or breach of contract that causes financial harm to a client. Examples include the following:
- Incompetence — accepting cases that are outside the attorney’s normal practice areas, missing filing deadlines, failing to conduct sufficient discovery or designate witnesses, and failing to convey settlement offers.
- Intentional wrongdoing — attorney fraud and mishandling of funds, overbilling, misuse of client trust accounts or client funds, theft, commingling of funds, and self dealing.
- Drafting errors — substantial errors in contracts, agreements, estate plans, nuptual agreements, purchase aggrements, and other documentation.
- Ethics and professional responsibility — failure to know the law or practice within the code of ethics.
- Conflicts of interest— representing multiple parties without proper disclosures or waivers.
How Is Legal Malpractice Proven?
In order to prove there has been conduct below the standard of care, or a breach of fiduciary duty, you must show that the attorney actually caused financial harm. The errors must be of the type that competent lawyers would not make in the same community. Also, a finding of legal malpractice requires proof regarding what would have happened if the attorney had not breached the standard of care. This search for causation requires knowledgeable and skilled representation with experience in research and discovery as well as at trial. These cases are defended by some of the best lawyers that insurance companies can buy and each case requires expert testimony.
With more than five decades of combined experience with attorney malpractice cases, fees disputes, and complex civil litigation, our principal attorneys can provide a thorough review of the facts in the original case. Our primary objective is to find the evidence necessary to prove legal malpractice, and then be strong advocates for your case.
Simply stated, these are some of the most complex and vigorously litigated claims in the courthouse. Do not hire a lawyer who merely dabbles in malpractice law. Hire the recognized experts!