Much like doctors, lawyers deal with the highest stakes when it comes to their clients’ futures. The vast majority of lawyers are professionals, handling claims and cases while meeting a minimum standard of care for their clients. Since lawyers resolve crucial and life-changing matters, they’re held to a high bar of expected competency. However, not every lawyer meets the minimum standard of care required of a jurist. Negligent lawyers miss deadlines, file claims and motions incorrectly, and commit other acts of professional negligence that has serious ramifications for their clients. When that happens, they must be held accountable before they cause further harm. That’s what a legal malpractice lawyer is for.
If you believe that your lawyer, paralegal, or another legal professional committed malpractice, contact Simeone & Miller, LLP immediately. Our Washington D.C. legal malpractice lawyers can help.
Legal malpractice is attorney negligence, plain and simple. Legal malpractice occurs when an attorney fails to comply with the standard of care expected of a lawyer in the same or similar circumstances. If an attorney does not meet the standard of care, and their client suffers economic damages as a result, they can be held accountable.
Common examples of legal malpractice include, but are not limited to:
In order to prove a legal malpractice claim, you must be able to establish that:
The first step in any legal malpractice case is to review the actions taken by the attorney in question to determine if malpractice, in fact, occurred. Not all cases that are lost or unfavorable legal outcomes are the result of legal malpractice. Instead, it is vital to review the attorneys’ files and possibly court files and other documents to determine if the outcome was due to attorney error or some other cause. As attorneys ourselves, and with the resources we have to research applicable standards of care and consult with other attorneys, we can review the facts and conduct our own legal research to determine if malpractice did occur.
We generally do not charge a fee for the initial review of the case or consultation.
The first thing you should do anytime you believe a lawyer has committed malpractice is take whatever steps are necessary to minimize the damage caused. Those steps could be everything from requesting that the negligent attorney take certain actions to correct his or her error, to seeking a second opinion from another attorney. Once you have attempted to minimize the damage caused, you should contact us immediately. We can then guide you as to the proper way to investigate, evaluate and pursue your case, including preserving evidence.
Even the best lawyers make mistakes. The key factor to consider is whether your lawyer is providing you with sufficient legal services. If not, then you may wish to look for a different lawyer. While no attorney can guarantee a successful result in every legal matter, if you are receiving poor results due to a failure to comply with legal deadlines and rules or a continuing lack of professionalism, then you should consult with us.
No. While a claim against an attorney may require different evidence than a claim against a doctor or anyone else, it will generally be subject to the same statute of limitations and court rules as all other claims, except medical malpractice.
Generally speaking, only medical malpractice claims have special rules designed to make the claims more difficult to bring and to limit the recovery, if the plaintiff is successful.
Under the professional rules of nearly every state bar association, you are entitled to your original file – no matter what. The attorney has a right to make a copy of the file – at his or her expense – if he wishes to keep a copy. The attorney also is given a reasonable period of time to produce the file to you.
Many attorneys refuse to provide a client’s file or attempt to charge them a fee for copying. This may not be proper and may be a violation of the attorney’s ethical duties. If you consult with Simeone & Miller, we can assist you in obtaining your file because we know the rules and know how to enforce them.
We get it – you might be hesitant to trust another lawyer. However, there are many reasons why you can trust Simeone & Miller, LLP. We have over 1,000 reviews from happy clients, and we are highly regarded in the legal community. We’ve been included in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Washington, D.C., and the 500 Leading Plaintiff Lawyers in the United States.
We are members of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®, and we have earned an AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Furthermore, a class action settlement we handled was recognized as “historic” by the Harvard Law Review. Our legal team is widely respected, so you can feel good about relying on us to deal with your legal malpractice case. To learn more, contact Simeone & Miller, LLP to schedule a free case evaluation.