Attorneys are humans, which means that they are likely to make a mistake every now and then. However, when is that mistake considered illegal in California? Many will say when intent was behind it while others argue that the amount of damage should be the measuring point. The fact is that much like other crimes, defining legal malpractice is not a black and white issue. The following includes further information on what you should look for if you suspect legal malpractice.
Was negligence involved?
When an attorney makes a mistake, it is only natural to blame them for not knowing how to do their job. However, you don’t want to outright accuse someone of legal malpractice if you are unsure. Think about their decisions and if they were made based on the information available at the time. If a judge deems those decisions reasonable for the time, you may not receive a favorable ruling in a malpractice lawsuit.
Did the error lead to damages?
Mistakes are made by legal teams, and they are often inconsequential, but what happens if an attorney forgets to file paperwork before a deadline? Although not intentional, the reality is that the courts are not likely to accept further evidence or lawsuit documents for the case, thus harming the client both legally and financially. If this happened, a malpractice lawsuit might establish that there were in fact damages.
Were the damages severe?
Going after an attorney for legal malpractice is typically expensive, so it is important to establish if the damages were severe enough to pursue litigation. This can get costly because you basically have to fight two cases at once: the first one involving a malpractice case and the second including the details within the original case.
Going after an attorney for legal malpractice can be quite complex, so it is highly recommended to consult a professional who is experienced with these types of cases. An attorney may help answer your questions and provide guidance.