Attorneys and law firms are expected to adhere to high ethical standards and to work to protect the interests of the clients that hire them. Unfortunately, this is trust that is often misplaced. Some lawyers are more worried about getting clients who serve them effectively and don’t do much to protect their clients’ interests.
If you think you have been represented negligently, talk with an experienced attorney from our legal team. At Badgley Law Group, we represent clients in Orlando and throughout Central Florida in legal malpractice claims. We can protect your interests.
Legal malpractice occurs when a lawyer inappropriately handles a case due to negligence, or with an intent to harm that causes harm to a client, whether a civil trial or criminal trial.
There are three basic elements that can be considered legal malpractice or what is also known as a breach of fiduciary duty.
The first element in legal malpractice is an attorney-client relationship. In order to prove this element, a person has to show that an attorney promised to give legal assistance or advice; this creates the attorney-client relationship, which is usually confirmed by a written agreement or contract, however, it can be implied by the actions of the attorney, and in some states, if the person has a reasonable belief of the relationship through the actions of the attorney.
The second element mirrors that of the standards used for medical negligence. That is that an attorney must use care, skill and diligence commonly used by other lawyers in the same or similar circumstances. A lawyer can never guarantee an outcome, so the lack of a decision to choose what might be considered the best strategic course of action won’t always result in a breach of duty. An attorney may select a strategy he or she has the confidence to believe is a reasonable course of action at the time the decision is made. However, if it is believed that another attorney with the same competence and skill to provide the same legal service would not have made the same decision breach of duty thus negligence may have occurred.
In proving the third element, it must be shown that if the attorney had not been negligent, committed a breach of duty, or otherwise acted wrongfully, the case would have been successful. In other words, if the case failed or the plaintiff was ruled against, or found guilty, a person would have to prove that the lack of the proper legal representation resulted in the outcome, and had it not, the case would have been successful. This can be very hard to prove in order to show legal negligence. For example, if a person felt they had information that could affect the outcome of their case, but their lawyer was not communicating, it would have to be shown that the information was indeed strong enough to affect the outcome of the case.
Although the elements of negligence are relatively straightforward, proving legal negligence or malpractice is no simple matter. Our lawyers have the knowledge and experience to protect your interests.
The old adage “you can’t win them all” is true in the legal world as much as in other contexts. It is unrealistic to expect any attorney to win every single case. Sometimes an attorney can handle a case perfectly and still lose. However, if you hired an attorney and lost your case, it might be the result of negligence or malpractice on the part of your lawyer. If that is what happened, you deserve to be compensated for this negligence.
At Badgley Law Group, we have the knowledge and experience to help our clients recognize instances of legal malpractice and to help them obtain compensation for the damages caused by malpractice. With a wealth of legal experience, our lawyers represent clients in Orlando and throughout Central Florida.
There are a number of attorney mistakes that can cause you to have to file a legal malpractice claim. These include:
Lawyers have a fiduciary duty to protect clients. If they place their own interests ahead of those of their clients, then they have breached this duty and can be held accountable.
As mentioned, in legal malpractice situations, a necessary factor that must be present is an established attorney-client relationship. This means the plaintiff has to have actually retained the services of the lawyer (which creates the attorney-client relationship) to have grounds to sue for legal malpractice. While there are a few exceptions, they are very limited.
In the majority of situations, the relationship between the plaintiff and the attorney requires that the lawyer owes a service to the plaintiff. To effectively prove that malpractice took place, the plaintiff has to provide evidence showing the lawyer was hired, or provide proof that the lawyer appeared to work for the client or on the case in some way.
If you have suffered financial harm by a lawyer’s intentional wrongdoing or negligence, then our team of experienced Orlando malpractice lawyers can effectively serve you. Call us at 407-781-0420 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.