When you hire an attorney to handle your legal matter- no matter what that case may entail – you expect that the attorney will act with the utmost care and diligence. In fact, attorneys are required to follow a certain code of ethics as set by the state bars in which they were admitted, as well as the Model Code of Ethics set by the American Bar Association. Their failure to follow these codes of ethics and standards of practice can lead to discipline and even disbarment – or forfeiture of their license and their ability to practice law.
In What Ways Can an Attorney be responsible for malpractice?
Attorneys are entrusted to work diligently on their clients’ behalf. This means that are required to follow the code of conduct as well as follow the rules of the court. Some ways in which an attorney may be negligent are:
- Failing to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations is up;
- Missing a filing deadline;
- Failed to communicate important case issues with a client;
- Did not protect attorney-client privilege;
- Misuse of client funds;
- Breaching attorney-client contract;
- Acted unethically; and/or
- Had a conflict of interest and did not convey that.
What Action Can I Take Against a Former Attorney?
There are several different remedies for a client who feels they were the victim of malpractice. The client may be able to:
- File a complaint against the attorney with the New Jersey State Bar Association;
- File with the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics; and/or
- File a lawsuit.
A legal malpractice lawsuit requires a former client to prove a number of issues, including that the outcome would have been different had the attorney not been negligent in handling the matter (this is known as proving the “case within a case”). It is important that you contact an attorney who has experience and is comfortable with handling legal malpractice matters.
If you feel like you were not adequately or properly represented by an attorney, please contact us to discuss your experience and whether or not you may have a viable claim.
If you require experienced legal representation for a matter of Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Insurance, Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, or Legal Malpractice, Siragusa Law Firm is here to help. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation so we can discuss your case.