As we have noted in previous blogs, proving legal malpractice can be difficult. It takes more than losing a case for an attorney to be found liable for malpractice. If you are unhappy with your lawyer’s responsiveness, legal ability or code of conduct, there are steps that you can follow to address these issues before you file a claim.
Taking a proactive approach can be cost-effective because it may help you resolve your issue without involving the court. Before you consider suing your lawyer for malpractice, you should think about exploring other options to save time and money.
Common problems clients have with their lawyers and how to resolve them
Lack of communication
If you have hired an attorney with a heavy caseload, you may have a hard time reaching your lawyer to get updates on your case’s progress. It is natural to be concerned that your attorney has stopped working on your legal matter and has missed deadlines, which could affect your case’s outcome.
Communicate your concerns with your attorney in writing and over the phone before you terminate your relationship. If you decide to fire your attorney, secure all the paperwork and documentation your lawyer filed on your behalf so that you can move your case forward with a new attorney.
If you believe your lawyer has overcharged you for services or has acted dishonestly in other ways, you can file a complaint with Kentucky Office of Bar Counsel. Lawyers can be disciplined a variety of reasons including stealing from their clients, failing to provide services they were paid to complete or failing to appear in court. The Office of Bar Counsel investigates these claims and can prosecute charges.
Lack of legal ability or poor work quality
Although your attorney should promote your best interests at all times, you have a right to question the legal strategy recommended. Consider seeking out a second opinion from another attorney to learn whether your attorney is pursuing an effective approach.
You may not have a legal background; however, you do have a right to discuss your concerns with other legal professionals. An ethical attorney will provide honest counsel about your options and possible outcomes. Exploring these options early on in the legal process can help you avoid a negative or costly result down the road.