Lawyers have an obligation to perform their duties ethically when representing a client. If your attorney fails in that obligation, or if they otherwise neglect to uphold a certain standard of care toward you, then they may be guilty of legal malpractice.
When pursuing a legal malpractice case, you must prove that there was a professional relationship between yourself and the lawyer. Proving this relationship is the first step in building a strong case against the negligence of a legal professional.
Initial Consultation and Agreement
The foundation of the professional relationship goes back to an initial consultation. This interaction forms the basis for your working relationship. Additionally, any signed agreement or payment documentation can further support the claim of an established relationship.
Representation in Legal Proceedings
The lawyer’s role in representing you is a significant indicator of the relationship’s existence. Legal documents such as court filings or correspondence with other parties can demonstrate a professional’s involvement in advocating for your interests.
Regular communication between the individual and the professional further strengthens the relationship’s existence. This can include emails, letters or any documented form of advice provided by the professional. Such evidence gives a full view of the interactions between the parties.
The American Bar Association reports that there are over 1.3 million lawyers in the United States. With such growth occurring in the legal profession, it is an unfortunate reality that legal malpractice cases will also grow in number. When consulting with an attorney, it is important to take steps to protect yourself in case malpractice does occur.