Top Three Malpractice Claims
There are a host of reasons why an attorney may be accused of legal malpractice, including professional negligence, breaching fiduciary duty, and fraud. These malpractice claims arise when one fails to offer their legal services or counsel in a professional manner, or when their actions involve statutory or ethical violations that cause harm to their clients or others. Fortunately, at King & Jones, our team is experienced in dealing with legal malpractice claims.
Out of all the types of malpractice claims, professional negligence is one of the most common. When making the claim that an attorney has acted negligently, clients must first prove the alleged negligence. Some questions that might be asked include:
- Was there a duty owed by the lawyer?
- Did the lawyer breach or violate that duty?
- Did the breach cause injury or harm to the client?
- Did the breach cause monetary damages?
In addition to these questions, proving negligence will frequently require expert testimony. On top of that, answering these questions also helps prove that a client’s case would have been successful if it wasn’t for their attorney’s professional negligence.
Fraud claims arise when an attorney misrepresents or omits material facts from a case. When filing a fraud claim, the client must be able to allege the following:
- Was material misrepresentation made?
- Was the representation false?
- When representing the client, did the attorney make untrue or misleading statements?
- Did the client suffer injury or damages due to the fraudulent actions or statements?
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Fiduciary duty refers to an obligation to act in the best interest of another person or party. In the legal world, it refers to the duty an attorney has to act in the best interest of their client. In short, an attorney should have unwavering loyalty for their client. The relationship between clients and attorneys requires candor, honesty, and good faith to be successful and win a case. A breach of fiduciary duty occurs when an attorney fails to remain loyal or fair towards their client. This happens when an attorney attempts to conceal information, manipulate, or deceive their client. For example, when an attorney places their interests above the best interests of their client, that would be a breach of fiduciary duty. Taking advantage of their client’s trust or misrepresenting their client is also grounds for filing breach of fiduciary duty claim. Fraud and breach of fiduciary claims may require a showing that they are not merely repetitive to the professional negligence claim.
These are just a few examples of legal malpractice claims that clients can file against attorneys. If your or someone you know was injured or experienced damages from attorney misconduct, let our office know. It is also important to note that there are strict statutes of limitations regarding legal malpractice claims. The experienced Chicago legal malpractice lawyers at King & Jones are passionate about helping our clients evaluate suspected malpractice claims. We always strive to achieve the best results possible. Give our office a call at 312-372-4142 today. The sooner you call, the better.