Is Failing to Sue All Possible Tortfeasors Legal Malpractice?

In many civil cases, there may be more than one tortfeasor or defendant. For instance, in a construction defect case, possible defendants may be the general contractor, a sub-contractor, the architect, or a supplier of defective materials that led to injury or other harm. In a car accident claim, multiple parties may have failed to stop in time and caused a chain collision, complicating the issue of which collision or negligent act was the cause of the claimant’s injuries. Where a corporation is involved, subsidiaries or other business entities may exist which may share in the alleged malfeasance.

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Kinds of Damages Recoverable in Legal Malpractice Claims

Legal malpractice claims, a fusion of negligence and contract claims, necessitate a claimant to demonstrate the elements typically associated with negligence claims. The contractual aspect is embodied in the attorney-client relationship, a fundamental prerequisite for a legal malpractice claim. The existence and recoverability of damages are also necessary components of a legal malpractice or negligence claim. 

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My Lawyer is Not Keeping Me Informed: What Can I do?

The attorney-client relationship is built on a crucial foundation-the attorney’s responsibility to keep clients informed about their case’s progress and developments. It can be incredibly frustrating for clients when their attorney fails to respond to calls, emails, or correspondence or neglects to explain fees or potential case resolutions clearly. In such situations, clients need to understand their rights and options.

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Transactional Legal Malpractice

Legal malpractice claims arise when an attorney’s incompetence or negligence leads to a client incurring financial losses they would not have otherwise faced. This could be a result of the attorney’s failure to act competently, such as not filing a claim in the appropriate court before the statute of limitations expires. Other instances include inadequate investigation of a claim, scheduling errors leading to your claim’s dismissal, exclusion of evidence and witnesses, failure to communicate with a client, and more. 

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Types of Mistakes Lawyers Should Not Make

Retaining a lawyer usually means that you have a serious matter that needs a competent lawyer to handle the case. Lawyers are paid substantial funds because many of these cases require knowledge of the applicable law, rules, or regulations governing the matter and how to navigate the complex court system. An attorney’s failure to either know or to apply the proper law to your case or to negligently handle it, resulting in an unexpected and adverse outcome, can lead to a legal malpractice claim. Such claims can harm the client and severely damage the lawyer’s reputation and career. 

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How to Get Compensated If Your Lawyer Commits Malpractice

When we retain an attorney to handle a legal matter, we expect a professional to handle it competently and diligently. This includes knowing the law that controls or is applicable to the matter, undertaking the research if needed, performing any necessary investigation, communicating with you and keeping you updated and apprised of the proceedings. When an attorney fails to perform in accordance with expected standards of competence, then you may have a cause of action for legal negligence or malpractice against that attorney.

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Legal Malpractice in Real Estate Transactions

Purchasing or selling real estate is typically the largest transaction anyone will ever undertake in his or her life. It can be your main residence or in many instances, a vacation home or an investment that you can flip or retain to rent out. For any real estate matter, you should expect competent legal representation given the expenditure at stake and the future benefits of the asset. Unfortunately, attorneys make mistakes or fail to live up to the appropriate and accepted standard of competence. 

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Legal Malpractice QDRO Error

A QDRO, or Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is often an essential part of a divorce settlement usually found in marriages of some duration. These documents recognize the rights that a spouse, child, former spouse, or a dependent has in the other spouse’s retirement benefits such as a 401K or for plans covered by the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). 

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