When a California resident hires an attorney, professional behavior is expected. Mistakes happen, but when those mistakes are egregious enough, it could be the basis for a legal malpractice lawsuit. When confronted with legal mistakes, it is important to know what is and what is not legal malpractice and whether a legal filing is justified.
If an attorney is believed to have made errors, there are three factors to assess for a legal malpractice lawsuit. One is negligence. Examining the perceived mistake and gauging whether it made sense at the time or was a clear error can be the key. If the attorney adhered to the basic standards in serving the client, a mistake might not be enough for a legal malpractice claim.
Damage is also a vital part of a legal malpractice case. The error must have negatively impacted the client. If, for example, the attorney did not file a case within the statute of limitations, that could be the basis to file a claim. It is important to note that the error can only lead to a successful claim if the client would have been legally certain to win if the case was filed in the necessary time frame.
Finally, the damages must have been significant. Due to the cost of a legal malpractice case and the fact that it is basically two cases being litigated simultaneously with the malpractice filing and the case in which the mistakes were made, this is fundamental. The attorney’s behavior must have clearly violated the standard of care. If that and the other tenets are met, it may be enough for a legal malpractice claim. To determine if a mistake reached the degree that there should be a legal malpractice filing, it might be beneficial to consult with an experienced attorney.