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When isn’t it legal malpractice?

There’s nothing more frustrating than hiring an attorney and then questioning his or her approach to your legal needs.

It may be tempting to take the attorney to court and sue. Unfortunately, in many cases, you may not have a case for a legal malpractice claim. Here are some behaviors that don’t qualify for legal malpractice, as infuriating as they are:

Slow communication

While it can be frustrating to have your calls ignored, that does not equal a legal malpractice claim. Your attorney only needs to keep you updated about the progress of your case.

Of course, the refusal to return your call is a blatant sign that it may be time to find a new attorney. It’s very rude and impractical, but not malpractice.

Your results are less than expected

Unless an attorney promises you a guaranteed result, it’s not malpractice to underwhelm. Cases can swing on many factors and the fact that yours didn’t go the way you hoped isn’t a sign of malpractice.

If you can prove your attorney didn’t perform the duties you paid them for to the best of their abilities, then you may have more of a case for malpractice. However, simply returning a less favorable result isn’t legal malpractice.

The cost was greater than anticipated

Unless you signed a flat-rate contract, your attorney probably billed by the hour. If your legal issue encountered any unexpected obstacles, it could have added time. It’s likely your attorney spent more time than they expected when they discussed your case with you.

Most attorneys will contact you before working extra on your case and explain why they are spending more time than they initially thought. Simply having a higher bill, unless you can prove it was done with ill-intent, isn’t grounds for a malpractice suit.

Protecting your interests

If you’ve had a negative experience with an attorney, it can be difficult to know if you have any course of action.

By speaking with a skilled legal malpractice attorney, they can help you understand whether you have a case against your former legal counsel.

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