Perhaps some of the most frustrating cases our clients face are those concerning legal malpractice. When a client chooses a lawyer, he or she assumes that the lawyer will take care of them and their case. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. At Breit Cantor Grana Buckner, our team of Virginia legal malpractice lawyers is dedicated to righting the wrongs committed by other lawyers.
With a focus on case preparation, we understand what a lawyer is expected to do when they are given a case—and we know how to hold them accountable when your attorney fails to do their duty responsibly.
Our legal malpractice attorneys can provide you with a vigorous and thorough prosecution of your claims. If you have experienced loss due to your attorney’s negligence, call us at (888) 635-9500!
The Definition of Legal Malpractice
Before we discuss what legal malpractice is, let’s take a look at what it is not. Losing a case, asset, or legal right is not necessarily evidence of malpractice, even if another lawyer could have perhaps done a better job. As long as your lawyer fulfilled their duty to you within a reasonable standard of care, he or she cannot be held accountable for any loss you experience.
Legal malpractice, on the other hand, occurs when a lawyer fails to provide competent, professional service to his client. This may also be called attorney negligence. He or she can be held accountable for failing to meet the standard of care in the services provided to their client that a reasonable lawyer would have provided under the same circumstances.
Take a look at some examples of actions falling below the standard of care:
- Missing the statute of limitations
- Failing to conduct proper discovery
- Failing to designate witnesses
- Failing to meet the court’s deadline
- Favoring personal interests over client interests
- Favoring one client over another
- Drafting errors in documents or agreements
In order to determine what a reasonable lawyer would or should have done in similar circumstances, expert testimony must be brought in. Usually, another respected lawyer in the field will testify based upon his or her experience as to what a reasonable lawyer should have done in the same situation.
Proving Legal Malpractice
Even if a lawyer’s conduct falls below the standard of care, a client will not necessarily automatically win a legal malpractice claim. A successful legal malpractice claim must show that the at-fault attorney’s conduct directly caused damage to the client.
The client must prove four things in a legal malpractice claim:
- That there was a legitimate attorney-client relationship requiring the attorney to act competently and professionally
- That the attorney failed to meet the duty of care through negligent action and by making mistakes an average attorney would not have made in a similar circumstance
- That the attorney’s behavior caused damage to the client; it is also necessary to prove that the outcome of the case would have been different if the attorney had acted properly
- That the client suffered a substantial financial loss resulting from the attorney’s behavior
Strict time limits surround the pursuit of a legal malpractice case. If you think you have been harmed by your attorney’s wrongdoing or negligence, do not hesitate to contact a Virginia legal malpractice attorney from Breit Cantor.
Skilled Representation Is Just a Phone Call Away
At Breit Cantor, we pride ourselves on our “no stone left unturned” attention to detail. You can rest assured that our team of attorneys will thoroughly examine every aspect of your legal malpractice claim and help you pursue compensation for your damages. Since 1979, we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. Our secret is really no secret at all? Hard work, a passion for justice, and attention to detail.
Schedule a complimentary case evaluation with a trusted legal malpractice attorney by calling (888) 635-9500! Time is of the essence; call now.