If you have hired an attorney to help you with your case, you have put your faith in the attorney’s ability to represent you to the best of his or her ability. Attorneys have a responsibility to be truthful and upfront with their clients. That includes meeting the specific deadlines that are often given in any type of legal case. Surprisingly this type of legal malpractice is not uncommon in the U.S. According to the American Bar, failing to file documents on time is the fourth most common error made by attorneys, followed by a failure to calendar appointments and make it to critical court dates, as well as failure to know the deadline at all. Planning errors and procrastination also fall into the category of delaying deadlines.

What happens when your attorney fails to meet an important deadline? When court deadlines are not met, you run the risk of having your case delayed significantly or thrown out altogether. Different legal cases come with a statute of limitations, or a time that is allowed for an attorney to file a claim or submit documentation. This may happen if your attorney was unaware of the statute of limitations, filed the papers with the wrong department or did not file them at all. If the attorney’s negligence caused the case to get thrown out or significantly affected the outcome of the case, you may file a legal malpractice suit. The attorney may be held responsible for not following through on their end of the deal.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.