Although legal malpractice is generally referred to as attorney negligence, it can occur in any area of the law and can take many forms such as simple negligence, gross negligence, negligence per se, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and violations of the Florida State Bar.
At Gordon & Doner, we understand that attorneys are held to a certain standard of professional performance. In Florida, this standard is the same for all attorneys, upheld by the courts. When an attorney does not fully exercise his skill in a law assignment, the attorney is thus not meeting the set standard of care and professional performance to which he is required.
In Florida, the elements of a claim for legal malpractice are 1) employment of the lawyer; and 2) the lawyer’s neglect of a reasonable duty. The general rule is that legal malpractice cases must be brought within two years from the time the injured party knew or should have known of the legal malpractice. This means that the injured party must file suit within that time period. There are, however, some equitable remedies that may extend the time for filing suit.
Legal malpractice can occur in any area of the law including medical malpractice law. Twenty-five percent of legal malpractice cases occur in personal injury cases. For example, a legal malpractice lawsuit is brought against a negligent lawyer by the victim (the client) to receive compensation for the damages caused by the legal malpractice. Approximately 35,000 people are the victims of legal malpractice every year.
Do you think you are a victim of legal malpractice? Most legal malpractice occurs through:
- Administrative errors (among them: failure to calendar, clerical error, procrastination)
- Substantive errors (such as: failure to know the law, conflict of interest)
- Client relations (not following client instructions, improper withdrawal)
- Intentional wrong doing such as libel, civil rights, fraud, theft, malicious prosecution
Bungling a client’s case, whether negligently or intentionally, is consider a failure of proper representation.
Such an act is identified as a “tort lawsuit.” (The purpose of tort law is to assign responsibility to the individual, group or company responsible for causing such harm.)
The stress, difficulty and complications that can result from an attorney’s malpractice or ethical violations leave many people with a lack of trust in attorneys and the legal system, in general. Legal malpractice cases can be very difficult and complex. Gordon & Doner, P.A. takes a great deal of pride in the legal profession and realizes that attorneys sometimes make mistakes and even do the wrong thing with respect to their clients and the matters of their clients.
We welcome the challenge of these cases.
If you believe you have been a victim of legal malpractice, please contact Gordon & Doner, P.A. for a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation. Please complete our online contact form or call us toll free at 1-888-ForTheInjured (1-888-367-8434).