Welcome to The Lawyer Malpractice Law Firm
Legal malpractice occurs when your attorney fails to act as a reasonable attorney would under the same or similar circumstances, and this failure causes you economic damages that would not have otherwise occurred. Legal malpractice is the term for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, or breach of contract by an attorney that causes harm to his or her client. In order to rise to an actionable level of negligence (an actual breach of a legal duty of care), the injured party must show that the attorney’s acts were not merely the result of poor strategy, but that they were the result of errors that no reasonable attorney would make.
Legal malpractice can also occur when an attorney breaches a fiduciary duty to his or her client. This occurs when an attorney acts in his or her own interest instead of the client’s, to the detriment of the client. A claim for legal malpractice may also arise when an attorney breaches the contract pursuant to which the client is represented.
A common basis for a legal malpractice claim arises when an attorney misses a deadline for filing a paper with the court or serving a paper on another party, and that error is irrevocably and incurably fatal to the client’s case. This situation normally arises with the running of the statute of limitations (where the client timely reported a potential basis for a lawsuit to the attorney and subsequently authorized its filing, but the attorney failed to timely prepare and file the complaint) but can also arise in the context of failing to respond to dispositive motions filed by the opponent or failing to timely file a notice of appeal.
Some Types of Lawyer Mistakes:
- Failing to communicate, with client, info about case status and decision making.
- Failing to keep track of important documents crucial to a case.
- Ethical violations, these are based on the S.C. Rules of Professional Conduct that lawyers must abide by.
- Gross incompetence, deviation of the standard of case owed to a client.
- Failing to file suit within the statute of limitations, time limit for filing set by State or Federal Legislation.
- Breaching fiduciary duty to a client (duty of loyalty) in carrying out the representation.
- Failing to reveal a conflict of interest harmful to another client.
- Note: Keep in mind just because a lawyer makes a mistake is not enough for a valid case. Proof (evidence) that the mistake caused damages must be shown or there is no case.