What are the consequences of legal malpractice?

You place a certain amount of trust in an attorney you hire to protect your legal interests. As a highly educated professional, lawyers are placed in such esteem as surgeons, financial advisors and others who are expected to make important decisions and guide others who know less about these professions. As such, when you and other Californians are let down by an attorney you trusted, the results can be devastating.

According to the American Bar Association, there are several common ways a legal professional can fail in his or her duties and cause harm to you, as the client. These include the following:

  • Failing to correctly apply the law
  • Misusing your money, accepting a bribe, knowingly engaging in a conflict of interest or engaging in other types of fraud
  • Failing to meet filing or service deadlines
  • Not communicating with you
  • Procrastinating on your case
  • Losing files or documents important to your case

Any of the above situations or other forms of legal malpractice can result in you losing your case or losing significant amounts of money. As you might expect, the consequences often go beyond the legal and financial ramifications. Depending on the nature of your case, you can suffer emotionally as well, including having feelings of betrayal, confusion, loss, grief and anger. You may also lose your trust in the legal profession as a whole.

While it can be greatly upsetting to experience legal malpractice, you should have recourse. It is recommended to seek experienced counsel; therefore, this information is not meant to replace the advice of an attorney.