Is it legal malpractice if my lawyer is a jerk?

Legal malpractice is a complicated area that can be confusing even for those in the field to fully understand. Therefore, it is important that you and other California residents obtain counsel that is professional and ethical. When you are seeking legal assistance, your friends or associates may inform you that a certain attorney is known for not being the nicest lawyer around, even to his own clients. If your attorney is rude and disrespectful to you, does that count as legal malpractice?

Numerous specific behaviors qualify as legal malpractice, according to FindLaw. These include incompetence, dishonesty, lack of communication, misusing clients’ money, failing to show up for meetings or meet deadlines and performing inadequate legal work. As you can see, these actions can be interpreted broadly. If your attorney is unfriendly or even rude but gets the work done accurately and in a timely, professional manner, you stand less of a chance of accusing him of malpractice.

On the other hand, there is no excuse for rude and unprofessional behavior that results in an adverse outcome to your case that could have been avoided. If your attorney knowingly fails to advise you of the progress in your case, exhibits behavior that adds to your emotional or physical trauma, has frequent outbursts of yelling and swearing in court or otherwise displays unpredictable, cruel or even violent behaviors that negatively impact your case, this may be classified as legal malpractice.

Since this topic can be difficult to define, the information in this blog should not replace the advice of a lawyer.