Our Legal Malpractice Lawyer Answers Your Frequently Asked Questions
Charles Elliott is among the handful of attorneys in Louisiana who represents plaintiffs in lawsuits for legal malpractice. He draws on nearly 30 years of experience as a trial lawyer to hold other lawyers accountable for breach of their professional duty.
The FAQ below covers some of the basics. If you think you have a malpractice case, he can address your specific situation in a free consultation.
What constitutes legal malpractice?
Even the best lawyers don’t win every case. You can’t sue for a bad outcome if the lawyer did their job. Legal malpractice occurs when an attorney fails to follow professional standards or engages in unethical conduct. Examples of malpractice by an attorney include missing court deadlines and misusing client funds for personal use.
- There must be a contract or clear duty to the client.
- There must be negligence or other breach of that duty.
- There must be tangible harm, such as losing your case or losing your right to sue.
What is the remedy for legal malpractice?
A successful malpractice lawsuit is essentially litigation of the original legal matter. The damages are whatever you would have gained had your lawyer won the underlying case. For example, if your personal injury case was estimated to be worth $100,000, you could seek malpractice compensation in that amount.
How are malpractice claims paid?
Most attorneys have malpractice insurance, similar to medical malpractice insurance for doctors. Legal malpractice lawsuits are typically settled out of court.
What are the defenses to legal malpractice?
The defense might claim that no attorney-client duty was owed. But usually, the defendant lawyer will argue that your original case was unwinnable, and thus you are not entitled to damages. Your malpractice lawyer’s job is to prove that you would have prevailed had your lawyer not made errors or engaged in unethical practices.
What form does legal malpractice usually take?
Calendars are the root of many lawsuits. Missing a filing deadline or failing to budget adequate time for the case can cause irreparable damage to the case. Failure to do “homework” (discovery and investigation) is also a leading cause of malpractice suits. Another big category is failing to know the law and apply it appropriately; some lawyers are out of their depth and make catastrophic errors or omissions.
Can I sue my lawyer for not returning phone calls?
Poor communication and bad customer service are not malpractice. But if your lawyer is avoiding you because they have abandoned your case or failed to make a good faith effort, that could be grounds for a lawsuit. If nothing else, failing to respond to your calls or emails is grounds to fire your attorney and hire new counsel.
More Questions? Talk To Our Malpractice Attorney.
To discuss your possible lawsuit for legal malpractice, contact Charles Elliott & Associates today to arrange a free and confidential consultation. Call our Alexandria office at 318-266-7937 or email us.