Long before a legal case gets to trial, there’s something called a period of discovery. The discovery process allows attorneys on both sides to gather and evaluate the evidence so that they can use the information to negotiate a favorable settlement — or take a case to trial and win.
However, mistakes do happen during the discovery process — and some of those mistakes could be actual legal malpractice.
What kinds of discovery mistakes are possible?
Discovery mistakes come in all forms, including:
- Technical mistakes, such as missing a deadline to compel responses to certain questions
- Procedural mistakes, such as not handling important hearing dates themselves and trusting a less-experienced associate to manage alone
- Evidence mistakes, such as failing to request information from banks, insurance companies, business partners and witnesses
- Electronic discovery mistakes, which are increasingly common and can include things like not making the request early enough to avoid evidence loss and not involving tech support in the process
Sometimes, attorneys simply make a mistake. They get overloaded with too many cases and an important detail slips their minds. They may neglect to ask the right questions during a deposition or not do enough digging into someone’s financial records.
What kinds of consequences can come from a discovery mistake?
If your attorney didn’t look deeply enough into your spouse’s financials during your divorce, you could find yourself cheated out of thousands of hidden investment dollars. If your attorney neglected to dig into your employer’s hiring and firing practices for your discrimination suit, that could cost you the case. If your attorney failed to ask the driver who hit you about what medication or drugs he’d taken that day, that could weaken your injury case drastically.
It can be difficult to tell if you have a legal malpractice case or not. Contact our office to discuss your situation and learn more.