About Legal Malpractice
By Legal Malpractice Lawyers at The Kassab Law Firm
Although legal malpractice is generally referred to as negligence committed by an attorney, it can occur in any area of the law and can take many forms such as simple negligence, gross negligence, negligence per se, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and, in Texas, violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Clients can be damaged by lawyers in many ways such as:
- Neglect -missing a statute of limitation, failing to conduct and respond to discovery, failing to designate experts and/or proper witnesses
- Lawyer’s conflict of interest putting the lawyer’s interests above a client’s or putting one client’s interest over another client’s interest
- Drafting errors in documents and/or agreements
The most common types of mistakes are:
- Failure to know the substantive law
- Failure to get a client’s consent or to inform the client regarding material facts
- Failure to calendar events properly
- Not knowing or observing material deadlines
- Insufficient discovery and/or investigation
- Failure to properly designate experts
- Failure to properly designate material fact witnesses
- Failure to diligently pursue the client’s case
Legal malpractice can also occur through intentional acts such as:
- Not following the client instructions or improperly withdrawing from the representation
- Wrongs such as libel, civil rights, fraud, theft, malicious prosecution
Is there a time frame to bring my legal malpractice claim?
The short answer is yes. In Texas, the general rule is that legal malpractice cases must be brought within two years from the time the injured party knew or should have known through reasonable diligence of the legal malpractice. Cases that fall under the two year statute of limitations are negligence, misrepresentation and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Most cases against lawyers fall under this category. Cases against lawyers for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract fall under a four year statute of limitations. This means that the injured party must file suit within these time periods or the case may be barred. There are, however, some equitable remedies that may extend the time for filing suit. Moreover, each state’s statute of limitations may vary.