Even though people regard lawyers as people who understand the law in and out, they are not untouchable when they break the same rules. The American Bar association helps people understand legal malpractice lawsuits and their causes.
Just like any other profession, lawyers are also doing their best to provide the best services and avoid malpractice liability. However, sometimes things fall apart, and they find themselves in court battles with the same clients they were defending. The law allows them to use the following defenses to avoid any liability that can result from a legal malpractice lawsuit.
- Lack of a direct attorney-client relationship, maybe the attorney represented the business and not an individual
- Disputing the facts about what happened at the time
- Denying that the ever represented the client, especially when there are no records
- Statute of limitations where they argue that the plaintiff did not bring the lawsuit within the statute of limitation
For a case to go through, the plaintiff must prove the following points.
- Employment of the lawyer to handle their cases
- The attorney did not exercise their degree of skill, knowledge, and care in handling the case
- The negligence caused damage to the plaintiff
Since attorneys understand the law so well, they might get tempted to represent themselves in legal malpractice claims. A case in the New York Times about lawyers who sue lawyers is a good reason why this might not be a good idea.
There are also issues such as emotional attachment and lack of enough experience handling legal malpractice cases. The defenses for legal malpractice cases are very technical, and even lawyers find it hard defending themselves.