Benefits of Hiring a Legal Malpractice Attorney
While most attorneys work in good faith and uphold a high standard of ethics, negligence, and care, some fall short. Inadequate representation can have serious legal and financial consequences. When an attorney’s actions or advice fail to deliver the results they promise, you can file a legal malpractice claim to make the lawyer accountable. The benefits of hiring a legal malpractice attorney are numerous, so it’s well worth it to learn more about them.
Abuse of client’s trust
The ethical rules of the legal profession require that lawyers must put their retainer money into a separate account from their own. Financial abuse of the client’s trust can include a failure to return telephone calls or submit necessary documents, failure to comply with deadlines, and other common malpractice issues. In extreme cases, an attorney may also steal client funds. If you suspect a lawyer of malpractice, take action now. Despite your concerns, you can still hold your attorney accountable.
Lawyers are held liable for intentional torts against non-clients, usually parties adverse to the client. Malicious prosecution claims against attorneys arise when they misapply a legal process to achieve a benefit other than the client. Additionally, an attorney can be held liable for misrepresentations if they fail to follow up or otherwise mishandle a case. In some cases, an attorney may also be held liable for failing to follow up on issues that arise during the trial.
Breach of fiduciary duty
While lawyers can and should be held accountable for their mistakes, the concept of breach of fiduciary duty has received relatively little attention in recent court case law. Rather, the term is used to refer to the failure to act in the client’s best interest. This theory of attorney negligence is largely untested, though, and has yet to be proven in any case. However, it does offer an interesting parallel between the two claims.
Breach of fiduciary duty by a legal malpractice attorney in New Jersey occurs when the lawyer puts his or her interests ahead of the interests of the client. Typically, attorneys must maintain separate trust accounts where they keep their clients’ property. This includes money not yet earned or money collected as settlement of a claim. When attorneys fail to follow these rules, their funds can be mixed with those of their clients.
Misrepresentation of lawyer’s or firm’s experience or expertise
A lawyer’s or law firm’s communication about its experience, education, and other qualifications is often misleading, leading clients to have unwarranted expectations. While such communication is not necessarily false, it must avoid overstating the accomplishments of the firm or lawyer. Similarly, it should avoid comparing the lawyer’s services or fees to those of other lawyers. Moreover, it should not compare the experience, education, and other qualifications of other lawyers, as this may lead to unwarranted comparisons.
Breach of attorney-client privilege
When an attorney represents a client, the privilege of attorney-client communications applies. This privilege does not apply to communications about client representation that are generally known. However, a lawyer should always be cautious not to breach this privilege by calling opposing counsel insulting names. Attorneys who breach the privilege of attorney-client communications can be subject to ethical hot water. Read on to learn about the nuances of the privilege of attorney-client communications.
There are several ways to protect the privilege of the attorney-client relationship. First, a defendant cannot assert a claim of attorney-client privilege in New Jersey unless the claimant raises it in the underlying action. This doctrine requires litigants to consolidate their claims. If a party fails to do this, the lawsuit may be barred. In such a situation, a plaintiff must prove that the attorney’s breach of the privilege of attorney-client relations prevented a client from recovering any monetary damages.