Rock Hill Legal Malpractice Lawyer

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Rock Hill, SC Legal Malpractice Attorney

You come to credentialed professionals in different fields to get the unique help they can offer. Typically, it involves a particular knowledge base and training that the average person doesn’t have.

However, sometimes, those professionals fail to live up to the standard that is expected in their field. In these cases, that failure is known as malpractice. One of the professional fields where this could occur is with attorneys. When this happens, it’s known as legal malpractice.

Legal malpractice results in a financial loss or other harm. Those who have suffered these losses, though, are legally owed restitution. However, proving legal malpractice can be some of the most challenging cases out there. That’s why at the Tatum Law Firm, we carefully investigate our clients’ cases and put together a substantial argument in their favor.

What Is Legal Malpractice in Rock Hill?

Legal malpractice occurs when an attorney fails to meet the professional standard that a client is owed when hiring an attorney, and that failure leads to a negative impact, financial or otherwise, for their client.

Some examples of behavior that could be considered legal malpractice in Rock Hill, SC include:

  • Conflict of interest. It’s important that a lawyer discloses any potential conflict of interest they have with a case to their clients.
  • Missing deadlines. Documents must be filed according to deadlines, or a case may be thrown out.
  • Overcharging. An attorney should never charge for work they didn’t do.
  • Communication issues. A lawyer may represent a client, but their client has the final say. It is critical that an attorney maintain good communication with their client as to where things stand.

What Does It Take To Prove Legal Malpractice in Rock Hill?

Proving legal malpractice can be particularly complex as it often is something akin to two cases in one. It will be necessary to prove some kind of negligence or failure to live up to the standard on the part of the plaintiff’s attorney, as well as looking at the original case in which the attorney and plaintiff were involved. Proving the elements of legal malpractice is a similar process to proving medical malpractice in Rock Hill, with some twists that are specific to the legal realm. Making the case for malpractice comes down to proving three elements:

  • An Attorney’s Duty: The first element of a legal malpractice case is proving a duty on the part of the defendant. It is an understood concept that an attorney has a duty toward their clients. As long as it can be shown that there was an attorney-client relationship, then that duty is proven. Typically, this relationship is demonstrated by showing that the plaintiff had contracted the attorney for legal services through a retainer or fee agreement.
  • Breach of Duty: The second element is highlighting that something about how the attorney handled the case failed to live up to their duty. This does not mean if they lost the case, it was automatically a breach of duty. The loss would have to be a downstream effect of the breach but not the breach itself. A breach of duty can take many different forms and can sometimes be challenging to identify. They aren’t all as obvious as failing to file a claim before the statute of limitations ran out. It’s possible another lawyer may be called on to testify as an expert witness and explain the breach of duty.
  • Resultant Harm or Injury: The third element is to show that you experienced some kind of harm or injury as a direct result of this breach of duty on the part of the lawyer. This can be especially complex in cases where the legal malpractice involved previous court proceedings. The plaintiff’s lawyer will need to go back to the original case and demonstrate that there would have been a different outcome in that case if the breach had not occurred. In essence, this means arguing two cases in one.

What Can You Recover in a Legal Malpractice Claim in Rock Hill?

There are a few different forms of compensation that can be recovered in a legal malpractice case once it has been shown that malpractice has occurred. Of course, it is important that the plaintiff’s lawyer be able to demonstrate that the costs for which compensation is being sought are the direct result of the legal malpractice that was proven.

If your lawyer can prove a loss of value in the original case where the malpractice occurred, whether through losing the case or settling for less than you would have otherwise, then you may be able to receive compensation for those things. Additionally, from the original case, you may be able to receive compensation for any attorney’s fees or other legal fees.

It’s possible that you might receive punitive damages if there was something about your original attorney’s behavior that was particularly egregious or malicious. These are damages that act as a civil punishment against the lawyer and are hoped to be a deterrent against other lawyers acting similarly. These are rarely awarded, but in cases where there was intentional egregious behavior, then it’s possible that the court may choose to award them.

If You’ve Been Let Down by a Lawyer Before, We Can Help You Seek Restitution

When you agree to work with an attorney, you are under the expectation that a certain level of professionalism, ethics, and service will be provided. We can understand how disappointing and frustrating it can be when these expectations aren’t met.

When those shortcomings result in your case being lost or at least negatively impacted by the attorney’s behavior, then you do have legal standing to seek restitution. These cases, though, can often be some of the most complex because of all that needs to be proven to get a favorable verdict.

To handle these cases does mean putting some faith in another lawyer, and we understand how that may be difficult to do. We are respectful of the frustration you are facing. We hope, though, that you will allow us to assist you in seeking compensation for the negligence of your past representation. Contact us today if you think you may have a legal malpractice claim.

Rock Hill

Practice Areas

Legal Malpractice

Legal Malpractice

Personal Injury

Personal Injury

Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice

Commercial Litigation

Commercial Litigation

Eminent Domain

Eminent Domain

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