Definition of Legal Malpractice
By Legal Malpractice Lawyers at The Kassab Law Firm
What is legal malpractice? Simply put, “legal malpractice” is an umbrella term to define a suit against a lawyer. As one Texas court has stated, the term “legal malpractice” may “refer to any claim brought by a client against that client’s attorney, regardless of whether the claim asserts negligence, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, or any other allegation.” Deutsch v. Hoover, Bax & Slovacek, L.L.P., 97 S.W.3d 179, 184 n.1 (Tex.App. – Houston [14th Dist. 2003], no pet.).
To determine if one has been a victim of legal malpractice, a client should ask himself/herself questions such as:
- Was my case dismissed because my lawyer failed to diligently pursue the case?
- Was my case dismissed because my lawyer failed to designate expert witnesses or failed to provide adequate expert reports?
- Was my case dismissed because my lawyer failed to respond to dispositive motions?
- Did my lawyer force me to settle my case for an inadequate amount due to a conflict of interest or because of mistakes made while handling my case?
- Did I get sued because my lawyer drafted a document or agreement that was improper or ambiguous?
- Did I lose my case because my lawyer drafted a document or agreement that was improper or ambiguous?
- Did my lawyer settle my case below the policy limits that were available due to an error?
- Did my lawyer use fail to use adequate “discovery” to determine all of the facts, damages and/or assets regarding my case?
- Did my lawyer “dump” my case, giving it back to me just before the statute of limitations ran out?
- Did my lawyer force me to settle out of court instead of going to trial because of his/her lack of preparation or experience?
- Did my lawyer prepare sufficiently for my case?
- Did I get an improper or inadequate settlement in my original suit due to errors or omissions committed by my lawyer?
- Did my lawyer severely over charge me?
- Did my lawyer commit barratry by unlawfully soliciting me?
- Did my lawyer have a conflict of interest that harmed my case?
- Did my lawyer unlawfully retain my settlement funds?
- Did my lawyer make material misrepresentations to me regarding my case that harmed my case?
- Did my lawyer sue the proper parties in my case?
- Did my lawyer fail to show up for trial and allow a default judgment to be taken against me?
- Did I lose custody of my children because my lawyer failed to show up for court?
- Did my lawyer settle my case without my consent or knowledge?