Sometimes lawyers make mistakes just like everyone else in life. With multitudes of facts to know, changing laws every day and intricate factual and legal patterns, lawyers can indeed fail to negotiate a turn once in a great while. If you run into that problem in New Jersey, the best person to help you make a claim against your lawyer would be another lawyer. However, be careful to choose one that has prior experience in legal malpractice claims.
The biggest problem that stimulates potential client resentment against the attorney is that attorney’s failure to communicate regularly and responsively to the client’s questions and concerns. Disclosure issues sometimes arise: a lawyer has an ethical duty to keep the client informed of the developments in the case. Furthermore, believe it or not the client is the boss of the litigation, and ultimately the client can dictate the moves that he wants or doesn’t want taken. The lawyer cannot in most instances risk failure to follow the client’s instructions.
Most lawyers carry liability insurance for their malpractice. If you make a claim for damages it will hopefully be covered by legal malpractice insurance. If not, you may have to obtain damages from the lawyer’s personal funds or from some other fund established to compensate lawyer negligence.
In New Jersey and all other jurisdictions, a lawyer’s mistake can have very harsh consequences, or it may be something easily repaired. Talk to the lawyer before taking other action – he or she may be able to repair the problem. If you’re not satisfied that the problem is being appropriately handled or if you have lingering worries, get a consultation with a lawyer who has extensive experience in legal malpractice claims. It’s best to talk with someone who has experience in the various claims that can be made, and who may quickly investigate your issues and determine whether a claim exists.
Source: palmbeachpost.com, “Take action to fight legal malpractice,” Richard Schuler, June 21, 2013