Remember That Attorney Malpractice Suits Really Involve Two Cases
Attorneys do their best to avoid malpractice claims, so even the most experienced attorneys often don’t understand the complexities of these cases when presented with them. When it comes to a Texas attorney malpractice claim, plaintiffs aren’t just suing you for the mistake that you’ve allegedly made; they also have to prove that this mistake caused them to lose an otherwise winnable case.
The First Part of a Legal Malpractice Case Establishes Negligence
Clients may pursue malpractice claims for all sorts of reasons, including failure to know the law, missing a deadline to file, or some other error. For the claim to stick, the client must first show that there was an existing attorney-client relationship. For example, a malpractice claim can’t be based on something seen on your firm’s website.
Next, the client must prove negligence. That means showing that the action taken by the attorney was not just a strategy that didn’t pan out, but that no reasonable attorney would have taken the action. This part of the case is similar to any sort of negligent malpractice claim that most attorneys are familiar with. The next part gets a little more complicated.
The Case Within a Case of a Texas Attorney Malpractice Claim
If a client can prove negligence on the part of the attorney, the next step is proving that the negligence of the attorney is what actually caused the client to suffer a loss. This effectively means trying both the malpractice claim, as well as the underlying claim, which may be about any area of the law.
Forcing the client to prove that the error on the part of the attorney actually cost the client the case is a high burden that protects many attorneys from baseless claims. For example, a client may be able to show that an attorney acted negligently by not updating the client on the status of his or her personal injury case. However, if this was a poor case, to begin with in which the client had little chance of recovery, and the attorney otherwise acted appropriately, failing to update the client would have no bearing on the outcome of the case, and the attorney would likely prevail in a legal malpractice lawsuit.
Looking for a Legal Malpractice Defense Attorney?
A malpractice lawsuit can take a serious toll on an attorney both personally and professionally. Campbell & Associates Law Firm, P.C. represents attorneys fighting allegations of malpractice. To schedule a consultation about your case, contact our Dallas office today or call us at972-277-8585.