Do You Have a Legal Malpractice Claim?

Sometimes attorneys make mistakes. The law is a complex and challenging profession, and mistakes do happen. Usually, when an attorney makes a mistake, it can be fixed without harming the client's case. But, there are times when the error or bad conduct is so egregious that client's case is seriously damaged or lost altogether. When a mistake reaches this level it becomes a legal malpractice case. Legal malpractice claims are not limited to "incompetent attorneys" or "young, poorly trained attorneys." Well-trained and seasoned attorneys in large, highly respected law firms also make serious legal mistakes.

Western North Carolina Professional Negligence Counsel

Legal malpractice simply means that the attorney was careless in one or more ways with regard to his work on a client's case, and as a result of this negligence, the client's case was damaged. In the legal malpractice arena, this failure to act as a reasonable and prudent attorney is referred to as a "breach in the standard of care." This means that the attorney's conduct fell below the minimum acceptable level of competence for attorneys handling that particular type of case in your geographic area.

Legal malpractice cases are expensive to handle because they usually involve proving 2 distinct cases – this is commonly referred to as the "case within a case." In North Carolina, when an attorney's negligence has harmed or damaged a client's case, then you must prove that the attorney was negligent, AND you must prove what the likely outcome would have been in the underlying case. Finally, you must prove that you would have obtained a judgment in the underlying case and that it would have been collectable. Therefore, it is often necessary to try the underlying case as the first part of the legal malpractice case, and if the jury returns a verdict in your favor on the underlying case, then you proceed to try the case as it relates to the attorney's negligent conduct.

We rarely see simple legal malpractice cases. A simple legal malpractice case might involve an attorney failing to file a client's lawsuit prior to the running of a statute of limitation, and as a result the client's case is lost forever. Usually, the factual basis for a legal malpractice case is quite complex and drawn out over a lengthy period of time. In this situation, the attorney's wrongful conduct can be less obvious, and we usually need legal expert witnesses (attorneys) to prove the attorney's malpractice.

Legal malpractice cases are very expensive to handle because of the need for legal expert witnesses. Therefore, we are very selective about the cases we agree to handle. The damages caused by the attorney's legal negligence need to be substantial to justify the amount of time and money that must be spent to handle a legal malpractice case. The burden of proof is also higher in some types of cases, such as criminal cases, and for that reason and the other reasons mentioned above, we do not accept cases involving family law, criminal law or workers compensation. At Davis Law Group, we handle legal malpractice cases on a contingency fee basis.

If your attorney failed to meet an acceptable standard of competence or care while representing you in a case involving personal injury, business litigation or other area of the law, you may be able to hold that attorney accountable for legal malpractice. Lawyers have a responsibility to uphold all professional ethical rules, protect their clients and meet a minimum standard of performance when working on cases.

At Davis Law Group, we represent the victims of professional negligence and legal malpractice in western North Carolina. We can answer any questions you have about your lawyer's responsibilities and provide an assessment of your case to see if malpractice caused you any harm or damages. If malpractice did occur, we will work hard to hold negligent attorneys accountable for their actions.

A bad legal result by itself is not legal malpractice but professional negligence can cause significant damage to a case. Contact Davis Law Group to learn more.

Incidences of Legal Malpractice

In order for a legal malpractice claim to be successful, it needs to be shown that the attorney acted in violation of a duty owed to a client and that the violation was responsible for an injury or financial loss in the client's case. Acts of legal malpractice can vary, but often include:

  • Missing a statute of limitations
  • Missing important deadlines
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Theft of client funds
  • Breach of contract or fiduciary duty to a client

By pursuing incidences of legal malpractice, not only are the victims of malpractice compensated for their injuries, but future acts of malpractice may also be reduced or eliminated. The burden of proof in a legal malpractice case is often high but when real malpractice has occurred, it is important to assess the grounds for that case and ensure that the client receives fair compensation for the harm caused by the legal malpractice.

Contact Davis Law Group to Learn More Information

At Davis Law Group, we have more than two decades of experience representing clients throughout western North Carolina in personal injury, business litigation and legal malpractice. Attorney Brian Davis takes his responsibility to his clients seriously and works hard to provide a high level of service in every case. Contact us to learn more about our legal services and to talk with us about your case. Call toll free at 866-397-2897 to schedule a free initial consultation.