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What requirements must I meet to sue for legal malpractice?

An attorney may be accused of malpractice if they take on a case although they're incompetent to do. The same outcome may result if they're negligent in handling a case that they agree to take on.

Most lawyers who ultimately get sued for malpractice do so because they fail to meet filing deadlines or request a client's consent. Others do so because they're ill-informed of or incorrectly apply case law. If you've compiled enough evidence of your attorney's negligence, then you may be able to file a lawsuit against them.

There are three criteria that you must meet to be able to file suit against your attorney.

First, you must have proof that you and the lawyer that you're looking to sue had a bona fide attorney/client relationship. Generally, a contract that you signed with the lawyer where they agreed to represent you will be enough to prove what type of relationship that you two shared.

If you're going to sue someone like an attorney for negligence, then you have to be able to produce evidence of their impropriety. If you have documentation showing that they applied the wrong case law to your case or missed a filing deadline, then this may suffice as proof that they failed to protect you as their client from unnecessary harm.

It's also important that you're able to document the financial loss that you sustained as a result of your attorney's negligence. You may be able to assign a monetary value to a lost case.

Most attorneys do their best to represent their clients. They do this because they don't want want to face disciplinary action from their state's bar association. If they're ultimately found guilty of negligence, then this could result in an attorney having to pay administrative fines and your financial loss. It could also result in them losing their law license.

If you suspect that your attorney has mishandled your case, then you should allow a legal malpractice attorney to review your case to see if that is indeed what happened. If your lawyer decides that it has, then they'll advise you of the legal remedies that you may be eligible to pursue in your case.

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