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What is standard of proof causation in a legal malpractice case?

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.

In a legal malpractice case, you must prove to the jury that your case may have turned out differently had your attorney not made a mistake or error when dealing with the circumstances surrounding the incident. Generally, you must show one of the following:

  •          The attorney had a duty to meet a standard of care when representing your case
  •          The attorney did not meet up to his or her part of that contractual agreement
  •          This failure caused an unfavorable outcome in the case

There are several approaches to proving causation in a case. You can look at all of the facts involved in the case and find where the attorney failed at clearly representing those facts to the judge and/or jury. The attorney may have missed a crucial deadline when submitting paperwork that kept certain fact from being submitted as evidence in the case. In some cases, the attorney may be severely negligent in failing to take interest in the case at all.

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

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Lange Law Corporation
222 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 2000
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