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Explaining legal malpractice in California

Legal malpractice is a serious issue that affects clients of attorneys all over the state of California. It is comparable to medical malpractice as it is the failure of the professional to perform for their client as required by their ethical standards and code of conduct. Claims are not warranted simply because a client is unhappy with the outcome of a case. A lot goes into proving legal malpractice.

In order for a legal malpractice case to move forward, your attorney must have breached a contract or acted negligently. If you are filing a legal malpractice claim against your former attorney you will need to prove the following:

  • There was a duty owed to you by the attorney for skillful and competent representation.
  • The attorney either made a mistake or acted carelessly, which breached the duty owed to you.
  • The breach by the attorney caused you harm or injury
  • You suffered a financial loss due to the harm.

Other reasons why an attorney can commit legal malpractice include breach of fiduciary duty, commingling, neglect, and conflict of interest. You should familiarize yourself with all of these terms so you know what to look for in the event you have a case on your hands.

Those who suspect they are the victim of legal malpractice, can learn more about their potential cases from an experienced attorney who has handled these types of cases in the past. Many of these cases can be settled out of court with proper guidance as to the victim's legal rights and options. Many attorneys will recognize where they went wrong and gree to a fair settlement of the matter.

Source: Findlaw, "What is Legal Malpractice?," accessed Nov. 17, 2017

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