How ‘failure to know the law’ constitutes malpractice

Legal malpractice is an issue amongst cases in California and throughout the United States. This type of error occurs when an attorney is not competent to provide adequate legal counsel, and as a result, his or her client receives an unjust verdict. If you have recently hired an attorney to represent your case in court, or you feel as though your lawyer acted in a way that led to an error in your case, it is crucial that you understand how failure to know the law is a component of legal malpractice.

Attorneys should have a comprehensive and thorough knowledge of the law in which they practice, and have the skills necessary to correctly send a case through the legal process. According to the American Bar Association, however, failure to know or apply the law properly is a common type of legal error performed by attorneys in the U.S. In fact, it is involved in 11.3% of malpractice cases. In addition to applying the wrong type of principles when creating a case, failure to know the law can include clerical errors and breach of contract. It may also involve breach of fiduciary duty, which occurs when an attorney acts in a way that benefits his or her personal agenda rather than benefit the client’s case.  

As a part of knowing the law, attorneys should understand the elements involved in your particular case, such as any rulings that were made, evidence and witness testimonies.

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