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Five Things to Know About Legal Malpractice

  1. NOT EVERY MISTAKE BY A LAWYER IS LEGAL MALPRACTICE: Mistakes that don’t cause any damage to the client are not legal malpractice; they’re mistakes.
  2. VIOLATIONS OF RULES OF CONDUCT ARE NOT NECESSARILY LEGAL MALPRACTICE: Just because a lawyer violated a rule, that doesn’t mean there was legal malpractice. However, rule violations are sometimes evidence that the lawyer’s conduct fell below the required standard of care.
  3. LAWSUITS FOR LEGAL MALPRACTICE HAVE DEADLINES: Called statutes of limitation and statutes of repose, letting these deadlines pass can result in a claim for malpractice being barred. Do not delay in seeing a legal malpractice lawyer if you believe that you are the victim of legal malpractice!
  4. THIRD PARTY BENEFICIARIES CAN SUE A LAWYER FOR LEGAL MALPRACTICE: As long as they were intended third party beneficiaries of the lawyer’s advice, such as beneficiaries of a will, people other than the client can sue for a lawyer’s negligent representation.
  5. LEGAL MALPRACTICE CASES CAN BE VERY COMPLEX: They often involve underlying lawsuits, requiring the plaintiff to prove two or more lawsuits to win a suit for legal malpractice. As a result, it is advisable to consult a lawyer with experience handling legal malpractice matters.

By Thomas W. Dillon