As with any profession, lawyers can make mistakes that thwart their clients’ interests. Lawyers owe a duty to their clients to work diligently to pursue their clients’ best interests. Unfortunately, as our Lafayette legal malpractice lawyers recognize, sometimes lawyers unprofessionally place self-interest before their client’s best interest.
Broussard & David is a personal injury law firm that represents clients injured as a result of their lawyer’s legal malpractice. We understand that a lawyer’s negligent handling of a lawsuit can ruin a client’s case and result in substantial economic and emotional costs. Based in the Lafayette area, the legal malpractice attorneys at Broussard & David know the intricacies involved in proving a legal malpractice claim and have the legal expertise required to analyze the viability of your claim.
If you believe that your lawyer mishandled your case, you may have a claim for legal malpractice against your former attorney. However, legal malpractice is extremely difficult to prove. If you believe that your lawyer made significant errors when handling your case, causing you to lose your case, you should contact an experienced attorney to analyze your legal malpractice claim and to talk about your legal rights.
Proving Legal Malpractice
First, it is important to understand that losing a case does not automatically mean that your attorney committed legal malpractice. Legal malpractice occurs when a lawyer negligently handles a case. This determination requires the plaintiff to prove that his or her attorney failed to exercise care in handling his case by making a mistake or by handling the case per a prior agreement. Finally, the plaintiff must prove that as a result of his attorney’s breach, he lost his case and suffered financial harm.
In order to show causation and harm, the plaintiff must prove that he would have won his underlying case but for, or in the absence of, his attorney’s negligence. In other words, even if your lawyer mishandled your case, if the court deems your case was not a “winner,” your lawyer cannot be held legally responsible for your harm.
Essentially, a successful legal malpractice claim involves the proof of two cases: first the plaintiff must prove the legal malpractice of his former attorney, and second, the plaintiff must prove a successful underlying case. This “case within a case approach” makes legal malpractice extremely difficult to prove.
Nevertheless, even with this high burden of proof, if you think that your lawyer mishandled your case, you should speak with an attorney who can analyze the underlying facts of your original case and protect your legal rights.
Legal malpractice comes in many forms. Examples include:
- Lawyer’s failure to file a timely claim or meet the filing deadline
- Court’s dismissal of a case because of the lawyer’s actions or inaction
- Lawyer’s settlement of a case without his client’s authorization
- Lawyer’s misuse of client money or fees
- Lawyer’s disclosure of confidential information to opposing counsel, later used against his client in settlements or court
Our Lafayette legal malpractice attorneys are happy to speak with you to discuss your legal malpractice claims.
We offer a COMPLIMENTARY consultation to all prospective clients. For questions, call Broussard & David at 888-337-2323 (toll free) or 337-233-2323 (local). You can also contact us online for answers to your questions or to schedule your consultation with a legal malpractice lawyer in Lafayette.