Like doctors, attorneys must adhere to applicable standards to protect the interests of their clients. To succeed in a legal malpractice lawsuit the following must be proved:
- the existence of an attorney-client relationship;
- that your attorney either by doing something or failing to do something violated or breached the required duty of reasonable care owed to you;
- the attorney’s breach of duty was a cause of damages or injury; and
- you did in fact suffer injury, loss or damage.
A poor result or bad advice alone is not sufficient to be successful on a claim of attorney malpractice. Alleging legal malpractice should not be done before many factors have been evaluated by an attorney experienced in the field of professional malpractice law. John Alton has the experience, knowledge and resources to advise you on these issues.
When an attorney agrees to handle a matter for you, he or she impliedly represents that he or she possesses the required degree of learning, skill and ability necessary and that he or she will exercise reasonable and ordinary care and diligence in the use of his or her skill and in the application of knowledge to the client’s case.
A lawyer is obligated to provide services on a par with other attorneys acting under similar circumstances. Expert testimony from a lawyer must be presented in support of an attorney malpractice claim.
The following are examples of legal malpractice:
- A lawyer may miss the statute of limitation leaving an injured person without any legal remedy.
- An attorney may fail to respond to motions or attend court hearings.
- An attorney may fail to properly investigate a client’s legal matter.
- An attorney may be negligent in the performance of duties during trial.
As soon as you realize you may have a legal malpractice claim, you should promptly contact John Alton because the deadline for suing a lawyer is one year from the date on which the attorney last represented you. To evaluate the malpractice claim, John Alton will need to review the entire file of the attorney in question and may need to retain the services of an expert witness to assist in the review and evaluation of your malpractice claim.
After investigating and evaluating your malpractice claim, John Alton will advise you whether your potential claim is one he is willing to pursue on your behalf. John Alton’s representation is almost always on a contingent fee basis. There is no fee for investigation if John Alton decides he is unwilling to handle the case.