3 Examples of Negligence in a Legal Malpractice Case

When a client retains an attorney, there is an expectation that the attorney will have the knowledge and skill required to handle the client's case. Unfortunately, there are some instances where an attorney fails in his or her duties and the client is harmed (whether emotionally or financially) as a result.

Negligence is among the most common grounds on which a legal malpractice case is filed. Reading through some examples of negligence can help you determine if you may benefit from filing a legal malpractice case in the future.

1. Conflict of Interest

Every attorney bears the responsibility to do his or her due diligence in researching potential conflicts of interest before taking a case. A conflict of interest exists if the other party in a case is an attorney's former client or if the attorney stands to profit in any way from the case.

A failure to fully research all potential conflicts can land an attorney in hot water. The law does not require the attorney to be aware of the conflict in order to be held responsible. If you suspect that a conflict of interest was present in your legal case, you may want to consider filing a malpractice suit.

2. Inadequate Discovery

Discovery plays a key role in every legal case. An attorney will use the discovery process to uncover all the facts of the case. Once these facts have been gathered, a legal strategy that will present the facts in the best light for a client can be developed.

It is possible for an attorney to fail to investigate your case fully or fail to accurately review all of the discovery sent over by the opposing counsel. If you can uncover information included in the discovery that wasn't used in your case but should have been, you likely have cause to file a legal malpractice case.

3. Poor Handling of Deadlines

It can seem like a legal case is taking forever to resolve, but observing the time periods given between the filing or each document ensures both sides have adequate time to prepare a response. Legal malpractice can occur when an attorney fails to meet certain deadlines or puts off the preparation of your case until the last minute.

When documents are not filed with the court on time, your case could be dismissed or you could be penalized. If your attorney waits until the last minute to prepare, vital details can be overlooked. Consider a legal malpractice case if you feel that your previous attorney's poor handling of deadlines hurt the outcome of your case. If you think you need legal protection, contact a legal malpractice attorney.