Legal malpractice is a term used to describe negligence, breach of contract, or breach of fiduciary duty on the part of an attorney that is detrimental to the client.
Negligence: Attorney misses a deadline for a filing with the court, files improperly, fails to appear in court, etc
Breach of Contract: Attorney fails to adhere to the guidelines set forth in the attorney-client contract
Breach of Fiduciary Duty: Attorney acts in their own interest as opposed to their clients’, causing harm to client
What is Needed to Prove Legal Malpractice?
In order to state a cause of action for legal malpractice, a plaintiff must plead and prove:
1. The existence of an attorney-client relationship (duty)
2. A breach of duty arising out of the attorney-client relationship
3. That the breach was the proximate cause of the damages claimed in the complaint
4. Damages, including the fact that the loss of the underlying case was a proximate result of the attorney’s claimed negligence
While attorney mistakes do not always constitute legal malpractice, clients are entitled to adequate representation. If you think that you may be a victim of legal malpractice and would like to speak to an experienced attorney, please call us at 312.223.1699.
Specific Problem Activities Giving Rise to Legal Malpractice
- Conflict of Interest
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty
- Missed or Blown Statutes of Limitations
- Negligent Case Settlement
- Negligence during Trial
- Incorrect Advice
- Failure to Know or Apply the Law
- Error in Strategy
- Incomplete Investigation
- Failure to Follow Client Instructions
- Research Error
- Clerical Errors
- Failure to File Documents
- Failure to Obtain Client Consent
- Poor Communication
Practice Areas Underlying Legal Malpractice
- Personal Injury Claims
- Patent/Intellectual Property
- Real Estate
- Divorce/Family Law
- Sports and Entertainment
- Probate, Trust and Estate
- Business Transactions
- Attorney fee disputes/Defense of Attorney Fee Claims
- Partnership Disputes and Breakups
Patterson Law Firm attorneys have prosecuted legal malpractice cases throughout Illinois, including:
- Chicago (Cook County)
- DuPage County
- McHenry County
- Will County
- Lake County
- Champaign County
- DeKalb County
- Kane County
- Kankakee County
- Kendall County
- LaSalle County
- Madison County
- Peoria County
- St. Clair County
And other jurisdictions, including:
- Washington, DC
Many of our legal malpractice matters come to us from other attorneys. In connection with the applicable Rules of Professional Conduct, including Rule 1.5, we are happy to discuss the sharing of fees in these matters.
While attorney mistakes do not always constitute legal malpractice, clients are entitled to adequate representation. If you think that you may be a victim of legal malpractice and would like to speak to an experienced attorney, please call us at (312) 223-1699.
If you have a legal malpractice matter in Wisconsin, please call us at (608) 616-9776.
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