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Legal Malpractice: Hire A Trial AttorneyBy Expert Author: R. Klettke
A less-than-optimal outcome to litigation – for example, when a personal injury lawsuit results in a judgment that inadequately funds long-term healthcare expenses and lost income – is sometimes the result of legal malpractice. In such cases, another personal injury attorney that specializes in these types of cases can sue the attorney. (Such attorneys are also referred to as “legal malpractice attorneys”.
Legal malpractice occurs when the personal injury attorney is either negligent, acting out of self-interest or commits a breach of contract, all to the disadvantage of his or her client.
But there might be recourse for subpar, errant legal services. In such a case, the client is advised to carefully select a legal malpractice attorney with trial experience to sue the original attorney. Why? There are several reasons:
• Trial within a trial – To prove mistakes were made in your original legal representation, the legal malpractice attorney has to show that errors were made in the original trial. This then means revisiting key portions of that trial. It is a level of complexity that only a legal malpractice lawyer with trial experience can manage.
• Attorney vs. attorney – Regardless of whether or not the original personal injury lawyer took the case to trial, you are facing another trial attorney as your opposition (likely, the original attorney will be represented by another attorney). You need to approach this litigation symmetrically, with a trial lawyer who is not intimidated by the challenge of litigating against a colleague.
• One chance only – When you pursue a legal malpractice case, by law that is your only opportunity to rectify poor representation by a trial lawyer.
In summary, a qualified legal malpractice attorney with trial experience will possess the courtroom skills necessary to see such cases through to the best possible outcome.
When to contact a legal malpractice lawyer
You should contact a legal malpractice attorney before you agree to a settlement. If you settle your claim, you may be barred from suing your attorney. You should then resist any pressure your first lawyer places on you to accept the agreement. Be sure to verbally refuse to sign the settlement.
If you believe that your attorney has committed legal malpractice, you need to contact a personal injury attorney with trial experience to learn about your options and the viability of your legal malpractice case.
R. Klettke is a freelance writer. He writes about personal injury and medical malpractice law and other matters of jurisprudence.
Important Advisory: This article is not intended to provide legal advice upon which you or anyone else should rely in making any decisions regarding the instituting or prosecuting of a legal claim. Laws and rules relating to the bringing of a claim vary widely from state to state. You should always contact a personal injury attorney to obtain information as to the rules and the laws pertaining to any claim you might have.
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