What Is Legal Malpractice In Louisiana?
Legal malpractice happens when an attorney fails to provide his or her client with competent representation. This failure could simply be a negligent mistake or could be an act of malicious intent. Malpractice claims require more than just an accusation. To have a valid legal malpractice case, you and your Calcasieu Parish, LA malpractice attorney must prove four factors. First, you must show that the attorney had committed to the duty of providing you with his or her competent legal representation. The fact that you had a free or paid consultation with a lawyer is not enough. A signed contract or a receipt for a retainer fee can prove that the lawyer owed you a duty of care.
Once you show the court that the attorney you are accusing of malpractice indeed had a duty to provide you with his or her competent legal services, you must prove that he or she went on to breach that duty of care. Attorneys are required to exercise the same level of care that any other competent attorney in the area would provide in a similar situation. If a reasonable attorney would not use the same strategy this one did, there may have been a breach of duty and this can amount to negligence.
If I Only Lost A Thousand Dollars, It Is Worth My Time To Go Through A Malpractice Case?
Legal malpractice cases are very difficult and expensive to prove. They require the expertise of an experienced legal malpractice attorney. It would not be worth it to pursue a legal malpractice claim, in Calcasieu Parish, LA, which included damages of less than several thousand dollars.
What Might I Be Compensated For In My Legal Malpractice Suit In Louisiana?
Winning a legal malpractice case should put you in the place where you would be, financially, if no error had been made by your attorney. You can be compensated for any money you have had to pay because of your attorney’s errors. You can also recover the amount of damages you should have been granted in your original Calcasieu Parish case. Your legal malpractice attorney can help you fight for the damages you’ve suffered.
What Is “Backward Looking”?
When it comes to a legal malpractice case, a jury must consider the facts of your original case in addition to what may have happened without your attorney’s error. Your trusted Calcasieu Parish legal malpractice attorney will be able to prove how your underlying case was affected to a Louisiana jury.
If I’ve Already Signed A Contract, Is It Too Late To Fire My Attorney?
Regardless of what it might claim in the fine print, no fee or other agreement with your attorney can take away your right to terminate your relationship with your lawyer, if you are not satisfied with the quality of his or her professional performance. It is always your right, as a client, to fire your lawyer at any time in your case. It is also a fact, however, that your attorney can choose to fight you over the matter in court if he or she is under the impression that there was not good cause in your reasoning for the termination.
What If My Reason For Firing My Lawyer Is Not Good Enough?
If a judge decides that you did not, in fact, have good cause to terminate your professional relationship with your attorney, you may have to pay that attorney for the services rendered before you fired them. It is possible that he or she could even recover the full amount you agreed to pay, leaving you with two potential attorneys to owe.
Must All Law Offices Carry Professional Liability Insurance In Louisiana?
There is no law in Louisiana requiring all attorneys to maintain professional liability insurance policies. The absence of an insurance policy might not interrupt your right to file or to even win a legal malpractice case. When it becomes time to collect, however, it can cause a major problem. Your Calcasieu Parish legal malpractice attorney can help with determining the collectability of your claim before you file it.
Will My Claim Be Covered, If My Lawyer Does Have An Insurance Policy?
Each professional liability insurance policy is different in what it covers and will need to be reviewed closely by your legal malpractice attorney in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.
Next, you must prove causation. Your attorney simply making a mistake in your case does not automatically mean he or she was negligent. Was there damage done as a result? To be compensated for legal malpractice damages, you must prove that if your attorney had upheld his or her duty of care, you would have won your original case rather than suffering damages. If your attorney did breach his duty of care but you would have lost the case anyway, you will not be awarded any damages.
Finally, you have to show the court not only that your attorney was negligent and this caused you to lose your case, but that you also suffered an actual financial loss as a result. You may also choose to report your attorney’s actions to the State Bar. This could result in sanctions or even disbarment.
Calcasieu Parish legal malpractice attorney, Tommy Pittenger, at Pittenger Law Firm, has fought against legal malpractice for over twenty years. He has a long, proven record of winning hefty verdicts for his clients. Not only is Legal Malpractice Attorney Pettinger committed to helping those who have suffered legal malpractice in the Calcasieu Parish area, he is also an attorney dedicated to giving back to his local community. Pittenger Law Firm is committed to donating 10% of its net profits locally every year.
If you believe that you have been wronged by an attorney that you would have prevailed in a civil or a criminal case, if it had not been for your lawyer’s neglectful representation, please don’t hesitate to contact a legal malpractice attorney like Tommy Pittenger. You should be compensated for the damage you have suffered. Call Pittenger Law Firm today to speak to a Calcasieu Parish legal malpractice attorney who truly cares.
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