Legal Malpractice Basics

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Like any professional in the marketplace, attorneys are not infallible. Though they are often highly intelligent, they are not universally correct. Though they are talented, they are not perfect.

Also, like any other professional, when an attorney’s negligent job performance – called malpractice, or “bad practice” – costs you money, that attorney should be required to compensate you.

Let’s consider that for a moment. If you take your shirts to the dry-cleaner and the dry-cleaner destroys them, wouldn’t you want the dry-cleaner to pay to replace the shirts? Likewise, if a contractor comes to your home, unreasonably breaks a pipe, and destroys a wall, you’d expect him to either fix it himself or cover the cost of having someone else repair the damage. Those things seem very normal to most people.

What is often harder for some unsatisfied clients to decide is whether their attorney should pay for the damages they suffered because of the attorney’s malpractice.

How do you know when you should demand that your attorney compensate you for the negative ramifications of how he did his job? Consider the following potential malpractice flags:
• Did your attorney miss a deadline that made it impossible for you to recover money you would otherwise be entitled to?

• Did your attorney give you advice based on outdated law? Did your reliance on that advice cost you money?

• Were you fined for actions that your attorney told you were legal?

• Have you discovered that your attorney had a conflict of interest that made it unethical for her to represent you on your recent case or contract negotiation?

• Did your attorney mishandle your funds?

• Has your attorney failed to do the work for which you retained him?

If you feel that your attorney’s actions or bad advice has caused you financial damage, you may wish to consult with an attorney skilled in deconstructing what your first attorney did – and what the ramifications were. You wouldn’t let your dry cleaner’s bad performance go unchallenged, so you should also feel free to challenge your attorney’s malpractice, as well.

If you are in need of a legal malpractice, personal injury, medical malpractice, accident, or whistleblower lawyer in Tampa, Florida, the Tampa Bay attorneys of Wagner McLaughlin would be pleased to speak with you. We fight aggressively to protect the rights of our clients. Click here or call us today at (813) 225-4000 to schedule a free consultation.