Hiring an attorney to represent you on a legal matter means you are placing a need for services in the hands of a professional and you expect to receive a certain quality of care. When you do not receive the level of care and services expected, you may have a case of professional malpractice on your hands.
When you have a legal problem, you hire a lawyer because they are supposed to understand the letter of the law. The question is: what happens when you hire a lawyer who proceeds to make your problems worse instead of better? Fortunately, you have rights in this situation. You do not have to just deal with hiring a bad lawyer.
At the Costello Law Group based in Baltimore MD, we recognize how difficult it is to win a malpractice lawsuit against an attorney. We also understand how difficult it is for our clients to place their trust in us after a previous attorney on a different case wronged them.
The purpose of the attorney you previously hired was to calm the legal waters, simplify legal terminology, and hold your hand. So, it can be overwhelming and disheartening when you end up with an attorney that does the opposite of these things. If you feel the lawyer you hired misrepresented you, lied to you, or incompetently handled your case, you may very well have a malpractice situation on your hand. Unfortunately, it is important to know legal malpractice cases are always a difficult battle.
In this article, we provide you:
- How to Recognize Legal Malpractice?
- Do You Have a Case of Malpractice?
- How Can You Sue Your Lawyer for Malpractice?
- Can You Find the Right Lawyer for You?
How to Recognize Legal Malpractice?
By now you already understand what legal malpractice is. The question becomes – did your lawyer commit an act of malpractice while handling your case? For starters, it is important to recognize lawyers are human. Humans make mistakes. Your lawyer making a mistake or your lawyer losing your case does not automatically translate to malpractice. Lawyers never guarantee they will win your cases. Moreover, not getting along with your lawyer also doesn’t necessarily constitute malpractice. Personalities clash all the time. Therefore, it is so important for you to vet your lawyer before you hire them.
With all of that in mind, legal malpractice is a very real thing. It happens. If you believe your attorney made serious errors or provided you with negligent representation, you may have a malpractice case. Unfortunately, it is not going to be easy to win. Professional malpractice means the attorney you hired did not use their skill set to represent you properly. It means your attorney did not provide you with the same care and services alternative legal representation would have offered.
To win a legal misconduct case, there are a few key concepts you need to prove:
- Duty: You must prove the attorney-client relationship.
- Breach of Duty: You must prove your lawyer did not uphold their end of the lawyer-client relationship.
- Causation: You must prove your lawyer’s negligence caused you financial harm.
- Damages: You must prove your negligent lawyer caused you suffering.
To win a malpractice case against an attorney, you must prove the attorney made mistakes a competent attorney would not have made while handling your case. Then, you must prove the case would have had different results if the lawyer had not made the mistakes.
What Do We Offer?
At Costello Law Group, we do not let the difficulty of a case scare us away from representing our clients. Legal negligence is a unique type of case. Members of our law firm will sit down and look at the case you hired the original lawyer for. We will consider how competent lawyers would have represented your original case. Then, we will compare competent representation to how the lawyer you hired represented you. We can use this comparison to determine whether the lawyer was negligent.
Do You Have a Case of Malpractice?
The very first thing to consider is whether you have a legal malpractice claim. Does the performance of your previous attorney justify a lawsuit? Do you know for sure the lawyer committed malpractice?
Here are some questions you can answer to determine if you have a case worth fighting for:
- Did your lawyer abandon your case?
- Did your lawyer’s negligence cause the judge to toss your case?
- Is your lawyer’s workload too heavy to provide you with proper representation?
- Did your lawyer go against your wishes?
- Your lawyer made decisions without speaking to you?
- Did your lawyer use retainer money improperly?
- Did your lawyer make avoidable mistakes?
The Costello Law Group has more than two decades of experience under their belt. We’ve found that if you can answer “yes” to any of the questions above, you did not have proper representation. While it is appalling, answering yes to these questions means you may have had poor representation. We want to show you not all attorneys are negligent. We accept cases involving legal malpractice claims because we hate knowing someone lost a case because of poor legal representation.
Examples of Legal Misconduct
Any malpractice attorney in Baltimore will tell you no two cases of legal misconduct look the same. However, it can be helpful to have a list of common legal malpractice examples handy.
The following are just some examples of legal malpractice:
- Not following deadlines
- Not communicating
- Taking a case with no experience in that area of the law
- Not gathering the facts
This is by no means a complete list of malpractice examples. Any preventable mistake that causes harm to a lawsuit could be negligent. The best way to determine if you have a lawsuit worth pursuing is to let an experienced malpractice lawyer review your case.
How To Sue A Lawyer?
The first step in suing a lawyer for malpractice is to consult with an experienced malpractice attorney. This is arguably one of the most difficult steps because legal malpractice makes it very difficult for you to trust again. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to win a case against a lawyer for malpractice without legal representation.
Next, you must prepare yourself for a tough uphill battle. Hitting a lawyer with a malpractice claim calls their competence into question. While the attorney may have negligently represented you, it is unlikely they will poorly represent themselves as well. You need a malpractice lawyer with experience.
Together, we will go over every aspect of your case. We will look at every legal document. We will diligently investigate your claims. At Costello Law Group, we will provide you with the quality legal representation your previous Maryland attorney denied you.
What to Do When Your Layer Won’t Communicate?
When you hire a lawyer to represent you, you should be able to reasonably get in touch with him or her. Having a hard time reaching out to an attorney is a disheartening problem. Moreover, it is a violation of your rights as their client. Lawyers can get in a lot of trouble for violating their ethical obligations to serve you. But that information isn’t going to resolve the immediate issue of them not responding to you.
If you are not sure whether your attorney is working on your case and can’t get ahold of them, send a firm and friendly letter expressing your concerns. This is not the time for you to threaten a malpractice lawsuit or a bar association complaint. When a lawyer becomes frustrated and defensive, they are unlikely to be attentive to your needs.
If the lack of communication becomes a major issue, you have the right to fire your lawyer and hire new representation. Ideally, you should hire the second lawyer to evaluate the representation offered to you by the first lawyer. This way you can get a professional opinion on if you owe the first lawyer any payment, if you should file a complaint with the bar, or if you have a legal malpractice lawsuit on your hands.
Our legal malpractice lawyers, at the Costello Law Group, are happy to pick up a case that a negligent lawyer previously dropped. We will go back to the very beginning to examine what the lawyer did or did not accomplish for you. We will analyze whether the lawyer’s negligent actions caused any harm to your case. If we believe you have a case of legal negligence on your hands, we can offer you the representation you need to sue your previous attorney.
The Malpractice Lawyer Who Fights for You
Legal representation misconduct occurs in several different forms including missing the statute of limitations, not offering expert testimony and missing a litigation deadline. Moreover, malpractice law goes far beyond a personal injury case. In family law, negligence can cost you custody, support, or visitation rights. Also, in business law, your lawyer could have botched title searches for real estate sales.
Professional malpractice comes in many forms and is certainly not limited to doctors. Therefore, if you believe an attorney you hired to represent you committed legal negligence, you have rights. Reach out to a qualified malpractice attorney in Maryland by contacting Costello Law Group at 410-832-8800 or toll-free at 877-418-0003 to discuss your malpractice claims today.