Long Beach Legal Malpractice Attorney
When you find yourself in need of an attorney, you expect a trained professional who is committed to succeeding while handling your case. While lawyers can make honest mistakes or lose cases despite their best efforts, some lawyers do not exercise proper care in managing their caseload. Legal malpractice describes any instance in which a lawyer failed to exercise the skill and care any other reasonable attorney would have in the same situation.
Some plaintiffs may feel angry about losing a lawsuit, and it’s important to remember that a lawyer losing a case does not constitute malpractice. It may be frustrating, but proving legal malpractice is often very difficult. At the law office of Harting Simkins & Ryan, LLP, we go to any length for our client’s best interest, and we understand that not every lawyer will do the same. When lawyers fail to properly represent their clients, a Long Beach legal malpractice attorney at our firm can hold them accountable.
Proving Legal Malpractice
To prove legal malpractice, your lawyer must establish four facts about the defending attorney:
- The defendant had a duty to act in his or her client’s best interest and follow legal procedures.
- The defendant breached this duty in some way, such as failing to fulfill recorded promises made to clients, negligence, or making grievous errors.
- The defendant’s breach of duty directly caused damages to the plaintiff. This is causation, and you must prove the relationship between the defendant’s actions and the plaintiff’s losses.
- The plaintiff suffered measurable damages. You cannot sue for malpractice unless you incurred a loss, such as failing to secure compensation from a lawsuit you should have won.
If your new Long Beach legal malpractice lawyer can prove these things, you have a chance of winning your malpractice case. Some examples of legal malpractice include:
- Failure to attend to cases. If the defendant in your legal malpractice case is an attorney who has several clients, he or she must allocate adequate time to each case. If the attorney put your case on the backburner for too long, this may constitute malpractice.
- Failure to meet deadlines. Your lawyer is responsible for meeting various filing deadlines with the court. Failing to meet these deadlines and provide the court with vital documents could lead to the court throwing out your case before it even reaches trial. If you can prove you would have won your case, you should be able to establish legal malpractice.
- Settling a case without client’s consent. Your attorney may not agree to a case settlement without your approval. Additionally, your attorney must make every reasonable effort to honor the original estimate of your case’s worth that he or she offered.
- Breaching attorney-client privilege. Anything said in confidence between you and your attorney falls under attorney-client privilege. Your attorney may not divulge anything you say in confidence without your express permission.
- Misuse of client funds. Your attorney must use the money you paid for your retainer for your case only. Misusing client funds is tantamount to stealing.
Legal malpractice cases are extremely difficult to win, but an accomplished attorney will be able to identify where your previous attorney erred and assess whether or not the error constitutes legal malpractice. Plaintiffs in Souther California need to find reliable, experienced attorneys to handle legal malpractice cases.
Harting Simkins & Ryan, LLP | Legal Malpractice Lawyers in Long Beach
The law firm of Harting Simkins & Ryan, LLP handles all manner of cases, and we won’t shy away from difficult claims. Legal malpractice may be difficult to prove, but we’ll leverage the full extent of our resources and experience to reach successful results for our clients. If you are uncertain about a past lawyer’s actions, consult a Long Beach legal malpractice attorney at Harting Simkins & Ryan, LLP and discuss your options. Feel free to call our office at (562) 981-1010 or contact us online.