When many California residents think of contacting an attorney, the thought usually comes to mind when they feel that someone has slighted them or that another type of injustice has occurred. Attorneys can certainly step in to help individuals and companies defend against allegations or pursue compensation for damages they suffered, including against other attorneys.

The idea of suing an attorney may not have crossed your mind before, but after going through a difficult case and not achieving the outcomes you desired, you may wonder whether this is a route you could pursue. The answer depends on the circumstances of your situation. After all, just because you and your attorney had a personality clash, it does not mean that he or she committed legal malpractice.

Was your attorney a good one?

Various factors can go into determining whether an attorney practiced in a competent and effective manner. Some questions you may want to ask yourself regarding your situation to determine whether your attorney did not fulfill his or her duties include the following:

  • Did your attorney communicate well? Good attorneys understand the importance of ensuring their clients understand what is going on and know how to communicate through various means, including in person, phone calls, emails and legal documents.
  • Was your attorney knowledgeable? You undoubtedly hired your attorney because you wanted someone with an extensive knowledge of the laws involved to help you with your case, but if he or she seemed incompetent, you may have only felt more uneasy.
  • Did your attorney have passion and show perseverance in your case? While many attorneys may not show an emotional passion for getting clients the best outcome possible, they do their best to keep fighting, take the steps necessary toward the best outcome, always meet deadlines and generally put in the effort necessary to effectively handle a case.
  • Did your attorney use good judgment in your case? Making decisions that could significantly impact a person’s life is part of an attorney’s job, and acting negligently or making reckless choices could put a case — and a person’s affairs — in jeopardy.

If you recently had an unfavorable judgment come against you in a legal case, you may wonder whether your attorney did everything possible to reach the best outcome for you. If you believe that your legal counsel did not communicate well, lacked knowledge regarding your legal matter, showed a lackluster or negligent approach to your case or used poor judgment in handling your case, you may have reason to look into filing a legal malpractice claim.