When you partner with an attorney, you trust that he or she will represent your case to the best of his or her ability. You may believe that the attorney you hire has full knowledge of the laws and rules of the area of law in which you are dealing. There may be a situation, however, where your attorney fails to meet these expectations. As a result, you may get a ruling that you feel you would not have otherwise happened if your attorney had performed their job. If this is the case, you must have standard proof of causation that your attorney failed in some manner.
One of the expectations you have when you hire a California attorney is that (s)he will maintain the confidentiality of whatever you tell him or her. This is known as the attorney-client privilege and means that, by law and through the Rules of Professional Responsibility, your attorney cannot and must not reveal confidential information you have given to him or her to third parties without your consent.
When you hire an attorney to represent your case, you trust that they will carry out their duties with a sense of legal, ethical and moral authority. You may assume that the attorney will perform to their best ability to present the facts of your case and shed a good light on your situation. As a rule, attorneys in California are required to follow a set of legal standards as set by The State Bar of California’s Rules of Professional Conduct. Legal standards are documented as professional laws and statutes and may be enforced by certain penalties if one should disobey them. Designed to create standardization across legal settings, the Rules of Professional Conduct give attorneys a basis for acting in a professional and legal manner.
It’s no secret that many attorneys often have to deal with high levels of stress. They have heavy workloads, busy lives and their actions can have life-changing effects on a number of their clients. Unfortunately, this stress has led numerous legal professionals down a darker path. A 2016 study by the American Bar Association and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation shows that nearly 20 percent of attorneys have a serious drinking problem.
When you hire an attorney in California to represent you in a civil case, you expect him or her to do everything possible to win your case. But can you sue your attorney for malpractice if (s)he fails to live up to your expectations? That depends.