The truth is, although many of us have seen instances of legal malpractice in some form or another – whether it’s in television advertisements or in movies with legal aspects – we do not believe it’s something that will ever happen to us. When it comes to malpractice, most people think of medical issues, which generally have a higher amount of consideration in the media, but legal malpractice is just as serious, and just as capable of impacting your life in a serious and traumatic way.
Fortunately, those who do believe themselves to be dealing with an issue of legal malpractice do have options available to them when it comes to seeking out justice and reparation. Pursuing your court case for legal malpractice will involve finding a lawyer that you can trust, as well as understanding whether you actually have the grounds to sue for legal malpractice in the first place.
How to Know if You have a Valid Claim
If you truly want to succeed in your claim for legal malpractice, then you have an obligation to prove that the attorney you previously used failed to provide a reasonably standard of care.
In simple terms, a “standard of care” is an objective concept, which means that the degree of skill and dedication your attorney used in your case was equal to what would be expected by any other member of the legal profession. In other words, lawyers are considered to have breached the standard of care when they do not do that which any other lawyer in the same situation would have done.
In certain circumstances, a client may find that it is surprisingly easy to point out a breach in the standard of care during their previous experience with their lawyer. For example, if your lawyer missed the statute of limitations, this it is deemed an obvious breach. However, in other circumstances, proving that you have actually been a victim of malpractice is not quite so simple.
For example, you may believe that your previous attorney failed to provide and introduce crucial evidence at a trial. However, to have a valid case, you would need to be able to prove that the introduction of this evidence would have changed the trial’s result.
The Challenge of Legal Malpractice Cases
For obvious reasons, the issue of proving that a legal malpractice case has valid merit is incredibly complex, and can be difficult for any individual―regardless of their experience with the legal system. First of all, he or she would have to show that “but for” the breach in the standard of care, a different result could have been achieved.
Since no-one can predict the future, this alone can be a difficult burden. What’s more, in order to submit your evidence appropriately, you must hire another attorney to act as your legal expert―something that can be worrisome at best for people who have been a victim of legal malpractice. It is a tough decision to make but the longer you wait the more difficult it becomes in finding justice.
A Law Firm that does it the Right Way
Fortunately, reliable and trustworthy attorneys do exist and can offer invaluable help when it comes to achieving the justice that you deserve. To learn more about legal malpractice, contact Makarem & Associates via email: email@example.com or call us: 310.312.0299 to get a free consultation. Ron Makarem is a Certified Legal Malpractice Specialist by the California State Bar.