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Common Bases of Malpractice Claims

Common Bases of Malpractice Claims

Unfortunately, lawyers don’t always get the results for their clients that the clients had hoped for. Sometimes, there is nothing more that the attorney could have done-there are no guarantees in our legal system. In some cases, however, the attorney either did something wrong, or failed to do something he or she should have done. In those cases, the attorney may be liable for legal malpractice. If you believe your attorney may have committed legal malpractice, an attorney can advise you about your legal rights and remedies.

In order to hold an attorney liable for malpractice, you must first show that the attorney’s performance was not up to professional standards. Next, you must show that the failure to meet those standards caused you some harm: you lost your case, or the result you got was not as good as it should have been. It is not always easy for the average person to determine if he or she has a legal malpractice claim. An attorney with experience in bringing legal malpractice claims can help you determine if you have a claim for legal malpractice.

There are many different grounds of legal malpractice claims. Common bases include the following.

Missed Deadlines-There are many different time limits and deadlines in the law. It can be confusing to know which deadline applies in a particular case. If a deadline is missed, even as a result of an honest mistake as to which deadline applies, your case could be dismissed forever.

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Incompetence-Attorneys are supposed to handle only those cases they can handle competently. An attorney may take on a case that is beyond his or her skill. The temptation of big money from a big case, or even the desire for publicity that can come from a major case, has made any attorneys “bite off more than they could chew.” Some attorneys hate to admit that they can’t handle a case, and try to pick up the skills and knowledge they need as they go along.

Mistakes–Mistakes in how a case is handled aren’t always evidence of malpractice. There are many different ways to approach most legal matters, and two attorneys may not agree on the proper approach. Even so, attorneys may make serious errors in judgment that no competent attorney would make. Such a mistake may be grounds for a malpractice claim.

Conflict of Interest-An attorney is supposed to give all clients his or her undivided loyalty. In some circumstances, other clients, outside business interests, or even personal conflicts may impose demands on an attorney’s loyalty that cause you or your case to suffer. There have also been cases where two attorneys in the same firm represent parties with opposing interests.


To learn if you have a claim for legal malpractice, you should consult with an attorney who has experience in handling this type of claim. An experienced attorney can advise you on all the aspects of bringing a claim for legal malpractice.

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.