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Individuals and businesses involved in legal disputes hire counsel because they want someone who knows the law and can provide them with competent guidance during a difficult time. When an attorney commits an error that harms rather than helps their client’s legal prospects, the consequences can be devastating.
The Business Trial Group represents businesses and individuals damaged by attorney malpractice on a contingency-fee basis. We understand that you do not want to pay a law firm high hourly fees to undo another lawyer’s errors. That is why we charge no upfront hourly attorneys’ fees or retainers, and no fees at all unless we successfully resolve your legal malpractice lawsuit.
If an attorney made a mistake while handing your case, the Business Trial Group’s experienced and knowledgeable team can help you get back on track. Learn your legal rights and options during a no-cost, no-obligation case review with our Broward County legal malpractice attorneys.
Types of Legal Malpractice
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), an estimated 5 to 6 percent of attorneys face lawyer malpractice lawsuits each year. Most lawyers, in fact, carry malpractice insurance to defray the costs of defending such a lawsuit.
An estimated 5 to 6 percent of attorneys face legal malpractice lawsuits each year.
An attorney commits legal malpractice if he or she fails to exercise due care in handling your case or legal matter and as a result, you suffer financial losses. Attorneys in Florida must also practice law in accordance with the Florida Bar Rules of Professional Conduct.
The ABA identifies the following types of legal malpractice as among the most common:
Failure to know or properly apply the law: Being ignorant of the law is not an excuse for the general public, and it certainly is not an excuse for a lawyer. Florida attorneys are expected to know the legal principles that their cases involve, appropriately apply these principles, perform adequate legal research, and grasp the legal implications of the known facts.
Inadequate investigation: Before a lawyer can provide competent legal advice, he or she must ask appropriate questions on the matter, identify all important issues and concerns, and gather relevant information and facts. Attorneys should not only learn everything they can about their client and the client’s goals, but also exercise due diligence when investigating the opposing party.
Failure to file documents or follow deadlines: A case can be derailed by something as simple as an attorney not filing documents or missing a filing deadline, such as the statute of limitations.
Not obtaining client consent: Attorneys offer their clients legal advice, but ultimately, it is up to the client whether to follow a particular legal strategy. For example, a lawyer must obtain client consent before accepting a settlement.
Conflict of interest: An attorney may have a conflicting interest—such as an opponent that the attorney previously represented, or has financial ties to—that calls into question their ability to handle a client’s case objectively. Potential conflicts of interest should be checked by the firm and disclosed to the client.
Other types of legal malpractice our attorneys often handle include:
- Negligent document or contract drafting
- Mistakes made in the formation of a corporation or partnership
- Failure to inform the client about essential case information
- Failure to understand or anticipate tax consequences
- Improper over-billing
Since it can be very difficult for a non-lawyer to determine whether an attorney’s actions or failure to take action constitutes malpractice, contact us to discuss your issue with the Business Trial Group.
Legal Malpractice Lawsuit Elements
Not producing the client’s desired or expected outcome does not mean that legal malpractice has occurred. And even if an attorney commits an error, this alone is not enough to prove malpractice. Prevailing in a lawyer malpractice lawsuit requires proving these elements:
- The existence of an attorney-client relationship. This relationship is typically created by a written contract, but it can also be an oral agreement or implied by certain actions.
- A failure by the attorney to meet their professional duties. The relevant standard of conduct depends on the alleged type of malpractice. Most malpractice cases allege negligence, and this requires showing that an attorney failed to exercise the requisite care, skill, and diligence. Lawyer malpractice lawsuits, however, are also often based on a breach of fiduciary duty or fraud.
- The lawyer’s misconduct caused the client financial harm. Causation can be the most difficult element to prove. For instance, in a lawsuit regarding litigation malpractice, proving causation requires showing that a plaintiff would have been awarded damages (or a defendant would not have been liable for damages), but for the attorney’s errors.
Legal malpractice lawsuit damages can include the financial consequences of the attorney’s error, as well as disgorgement of all fees earned by the attorney who is found to have committed misconduct.
Not sure whether you have a case? Our attorneys will let you know during a free case review.
Contingency-Fee Legal Malpractice Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale
In Florida, the statute of limitations for a legal malpractice lawsuit is two years, and the date the statute begins to run can vary depending on a number of factors. This short window to file a legal claim makes it important to contact an attorney immediately to discuss your legal rights.
The Business Trial Group handles all legal malpractice cases on a contingency-fee basis. If you become a client, you pay no-up front legal fees, no matter how many hours it requires to resolve your case. And if we do not reach a successful resolution, you pay us nothing.
If a lawyer admitted that they made a mistake while handling your case, or if you suspect malpractice, contact the Business Trial Group for a free consultation.