The typical elements of malpractice
Prior to suing an attorney for malpractice, it will be necessary to show that your legal counsel engaged in negligent behavior. To prove that negligence occurred, you will likely need to show that the attorney had a duty to represent you and failed to do so. In addition, negligence would generally only occur if that failure resulted in a financial loss. If you don’t think that your attorney engaged in negligent behavior, you may be able to show that he or she was in breach of contract.
Questionable actions aren’t always negligent
If your attorney knows the attorney who is representing the other party in the case, it doesn’t necessarily cause a conflict of interest. Generally speaking, conflicts of interest only occur if opposing attorneys are family members. Furthermore, failing to return a phone call or email in a timely manner isn’t necessarily malpractice either. In most cases, you’ll need to prove that an attorney’s error directly led to losing a case or losing out on a favorable settlement.
A lawsuit isn’t always the answer
Even if your legal representative engaged in negligent behavior, it may not be worth your time and money to file a lawsuit. This is because the cost of a malpractice case may cost more than you’re entitled to. In such a scenario, it might be better to simply work with a new attorney.
An attorney may be able to help you show that your former legal representative engaged in some form of legal malpractice. If a claim is successful, you might be entitled to compensation for attorney fees and other damages as allowed by law.