Trusted By The World’s
Leading Corporations

Photo of the legal professionals at Klein & Wilson

Understanding legal malpractice

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Legal Malpractice

Legal malpractice refers to the negligence or misconduct of a legal professional while representing a client. This negligence can harm the client’s case or rights.

Understanding this type of professional malpractice is important to protect oneself when seeking legal assistance.

Duty of care

When you hire an attorney, they owe you a duty of care; this duty means they must provide competent and diligent representation in your legal matters. If they fail to meet this standard, it can result in professional malpractice.

Breach of duty

A breach of duty occurs when the professional fails to uphold their duty of care to the client. These could include errors in legal strategy, missed deadlines, failure to communicate important information or other acts of negligence. Any action or inaction that deviates from the expected standard of care may constitute a breach of duty.


In a legal malpractice case, proving that the legal professional breached their duty of care is insufficient. The client must also demonstrate that this breach directly caused harm or damages. This connection, known as causation, is necessary in establishing a case.


The final element in a legal malpractice claim is proving damages. Proof involves showing the negative impact that the negligence had on the client’s case or rights. Damages can take various forms, including financial losses, emotional distress or missed opportunities.


While legal malpractice can have serious consequences, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of encountering it. Researching potential legal professionals, asking for referrals and carefully reviewing engagement agreements are all important measures to protect yourself.


If you believe you have experienced legal malpractice, it is important to seek recourse. This recourse may involve filing a complaint with the appropriate regulatory body or pursuing a civil lawsuit against the negligent professional.

Understanding the elements of professional malpractice and taking preventative measures can help clients navigate the system more effectively and protect their rights.