Malpractice Legal Malpractice
Introduction to Legal Malpractice
The other common type of professional malpractice lawsuit occurs when a client sues his or her former attorney. A large number of legal malpractice actions involve claims that an attorney representing a client in court made an error that harmed the client. The plaintiff must prove that the prior trial would have had a different result if the attorney had not acted negligently. This may require the plaintiff in the malpractice action to retry the prior case as part of the legal malpractice lawsuit-a complex and time-consuming process.
Identifying the party to whom an attorney is responsible can be a controversial issue in legal malpractice actions. Traditionally, attorneys are obligated to protect their clients and no one else. In many cases, however, the improper conduct of an attorney may injure someone other than the client. For example, if an attorney improperly drafts a client’s will, the heirs-rather than the client-will be harmed. Courts have begun to show more willingness to hold attorneys liable for injuries to third parties whose damages could have been anticipated. Rules governing who can sue for legal malpractice damages vary widely between states.” (1)
Notes and References
- Information about Legal Malpractice in the Encarta Online Encyclopedia