Understanding what constitutes legal malpractice

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2015 | Legal Malpractice Law

It is unfortunate when a New Jersey resident has a bad experience with their attorney. While the person who does may think the attorney may have committed legal malpractice, that is not always the case.

An attorney is only expected to make the same types of choices that another reasonable attorney would have made, given the same circumstances. This does not mean that mistakes are necessarily professional negligence. In order to prevail in a legal malpractice case, the plaintiff must be able to prove several things. Plaintiffs must first establish that they either had an attorney-client relationship or that they were supposed to be the beneficiary of one. They must then demonstrate that the attorney either did something or failed to do something that constituted an unreasonable representation of their interests. Next, they must prove that the breach caused or contributed to injury or damages. Finally, they must prove that they did, in fact, suffer actual harm as a result.

Most cases that fail do so on the last portion. If an attorney was negligent in their representation and the person lost their case, they would still only be able to recover in their legal malpractice case if it is likely they would have otherwise both won the case and would have been able to collect damages.

There are many types of malpractice. One of the more common types is missing a deadline or filing a lawsuit after the applicable statute of limitations has expired. When this happens and the client would have likely been able to recover, a legal malpractice case may stand. People who believe they may have been victims of legal malpractice may want to meet with an attorney who has experience with this type of litigation.

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