Pittenger Law Firm

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(225) 230-9300

Pittenger Law Firm

We are always willing to help a client with making the decision on whether to file a Bar complaint or not. We focus on the legal malpractice civil action and we leave it up to the client. We provide all the options for the Bar complaint and if the client feels strongly enough about filing it, then we allow the client to do that. It typically does not have any effect all on the legal malpractice civil action.

How Do You Prove Legal Malpractice?

In Louisiana, we have regular negligence for a lawyer’s conduct and for legal malpractice claims, the standard is that you first have to prove the lawyer made a mistake, applying the regular negligence standard. If you are able to succeed in proving that the lawyer made a mistake, then the burden of proof shifts to the lawyer to prove that the client could not have won the underlying case. That’s often very difficult, because during that lawyer’s representation of the client, he produced correspondence, lawsuits, and motions arguing that this claim would be successful. Once you prove that the lawyer made the mistake, it is hard for him to argue against his own file that the original claim would not have been successful.

How Does Legal Malpractice Typically Impact an Ongoing Case?

In the overwhelming majority of the cases where we represent clients in legal malpractice claims, the lawyer’s negligence has resulted in the dismissal of the client’s claim or a dismissal of a large part of the client’s claim. Typically, there is no more case. The lawyer’s negligence, we allege, is the cause of there being no more case and no chance to recover.

What Components Constitute An Effective And Viable Legal malpractice Claim?

First, you have to prove that the lawyer made a mistake. That’s pretty well documented in most lawyer’s files or in the pleadings that they file with the court. Then, you have to prove that the mistake caused damage. In a divorce situation, if a lawyer makes a mistake and doesn’t list a piece of furniture in a divorce pleading, and the opposing spouse gets that piece of furniture, the lawyer made a mistake but there’s really no actual damage. It’s a piece of furniture that can easily be paid for. The third thing is that you want to make sure that the lawyer has legal malpractice insurance. A lot of lawyers in Louisiana do not. It’s very difficult to proceed against those lawyers in legal malpractice claims.

What Is The Prescription In A Legal Malpractice Claim?

Legal claim has a Statute of Limitation called Prescription in Louisiana – a set time period in which a claim can be brought. And Prescription can vary from one claim to another, depending on the type of claim it is. It is imperative that a claim be brought within the allowable time as dictated by Prescription. Claims filed after the expiration of Prescription will be invalidated and the right to bring that claim will be terminated. In Louisiana, if an attorney was hired to bring the claim, and that attorney fails to file in accordance with the requirements in a timely fashion, that attorney can be sued for malpractice.

You have one year from the date that the mistake was made in the underlying claim to file a lawsuit against your lawyer. If the lawyer doesn’t tell the client about the mistake, then, in some cases, the client may have 3 years from the date of the mistake to file a lawsuit.

What Steps Should I Take To Bring a Legal Malpractice Claim Against An Attorney?

First, you would need to locate a lawyer in Louisiana who is willing to take a look at the file and determine whether legal malpractice took place. Just like in the underlying case, you need to be very careful who you hire and make sure they are competent and willing to honestly communicate about what is going on in your case.

For more information on Filing A Bar Complaint Against An Attorney, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (225) 230-9300 today.

Tommy Pittenger

Call For A Consultation
(225) 230-9300