This can take many forms, including failing to file documents or meet deadlines, failing to communicate with the client, or even intentionally misleading the client.
The first step in determining whether an attorney has committed malpractice is to establish the existence of an attorney-client relationship. This means that the attorney has agreed to represent the client in a legal matter and has a duty to act in the client’s best interests.
Assessing Malpractice: Standards of Care
If an attorney fails to meet the standards of care required in their profession, they may be liable for malpractice. These standards vary by state and may include duties such as:
- Filing necessary documents and meeting deadlines
- Communicating with the client and keeping them informed about the case
- Providing competent representation based on their knowledge and skill
- Acting in the best interests of the client
- Maintaining confidentiality
If an attorney breaches any of these duties and their client suffers damages as a result, the client may have a legal malpractice claim. See Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.117.
Common Type of Malpractice: Negligence
One common type of attorney malpractice is known as “negligence.” This occurs when an attorney fails to provide the level of care that a reasonable attorney would have provided under similar circumstances. For example, if an attorney misses a deadline to file a document and their client suffers damages as a result, the attorney may be found to have acted negligently.
Common Type of Malpractice: Breach of Contract
Another type of attorney malpractice is known as “breach of contract.” This occurs when an attorney fails to fulfill their obligations under a contract with their client. For example, if an attorney agrees to handle a case for a certain fee but fails to do so, they may be in breach of contract.
To succeed in a legal malpractice claim, the client must be able to show that the attorney’s actions or inaction caused them damages. This may include financial losses, such as lost wages or medical expenses, or non-economic damages, such as emotional distress.
Are you the Victim of Attorney Malpractice?
If you believe that you have been the victim of attorney malpractice, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and advise you on the best course of action. In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate a settlement with the attorney or their insurance company. In other cases, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to seek damages.
It is worth noting that attorney malpractice claims can be complex and difficult to prove. It is important to have strong evidence and a thorough understanding of the legal principles involved in order to succeed in a claim.
Seek Legal Advice as Soon as Possible
In conclusion, attorney malpractice occurs when an attorney fails to provide competent representation to their client or breaches their professional duties. If you believe that you have been the victim of attorney malpractice, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. While these claims can be complex, it is possible to seek damages if you are able to show that the attorney’s actions or inaction caused you harm. Please call Brenden Kelley Law at 216-644-3359 so that we can assist you.
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