When a lawyer represents you in any legal matter, they must not act recklessly and jeopardize the outcome of your case. Most people are not legal experts, making it hard for them to hold an attorney accountable for malpractice, much less recognize it when it happens.
While you may have questions about what you can do about this kind of malpractice, your first step should be identifying it. Here are three common signs you are suffering from legal malpractice:
Violation of attorney-client privilege
The information you share with your lawyer about your legal issues should be completely confidential. If your attorney openly speaks about your case, it can risk a favorable outcome for you. You have the right to determine who hears your private information, and if your lawyer violates that right, you may have experienced malpractice.
Accepting a settlement without your consent
In a personal injury case or other case involving a settlement, you deserve to accept or reject any settlement offers you receive. Your attorney cannot take these offers without your explicit permission to do so, as getting an offer is typically the end of a claim. If your lawyer acted without your direction and accepted a settlement offer, they performed legal malpractice.
Representation despite a conflict of interest
It is extremely important that your lawyer only has a vested interest in your side of your case. If your lawyer keeps information from you that they have a personal connection to someone on the other side of the case, it can be a serious problem. Whether your lawyer is related to someone on the opposing side, went to college with the defendant, or is even an investor in the company you are suing, they need to disclose those conflicts so you can avoid choosing them to represent you.
Are you not sure if you suffered from legal malpractice?
If you are not certain, your case suffered from malpractice or is currently suffering, trust your instincts and reach out to a legal malpractice attorney. A skilled lawyer can help review your situation and offer you the guidance you need to protect your rights.