Pittenger Law Firm

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Pittenger Law Firm

Legal malpractice is a situation where a client hires a lawyer to represent them in a legal matter and the lawyer makes a mistake that harms the client’s case in some fashion. Most typically, the case is dismissed. That dismissal results in the client suffering economic damages because of the mistake. It could be anything from failure to file something to failure to oppose something that needed to be opposed. There are all sorts of malpractice or negligence items that a lawyer can do to harm their client.

Can I Sue My Own Attorney If He Or She Makes A Mistake?

In Louisiana, you have the right to file a lawsuit or a claim against your lawyer, if they make a mistake. In a lot of cases, the lawyers who make mistakes don’t tell their clients that a mistake was made. They’ll often give an excuse for why the case was lost. The Code of Professional Responsibility requires a lawyer who makes a mistake to notify the client that they made a mistake, and they need to seek an independent opinion from an outside lawyer to address that issue.

Does A Violation Of A Legal Ethics Rule Constitute A Breach Of The Standard Of Care?

The Code of Professional Responsibility imposes a lot of obligations on lawyers and not every violation of the ethics code necessarily results in a breach of the standard of care or in a potential action for negligence against your lawyer. There are cases where, for example, if you share private information or confidential information with someone that your client didn’t want you to share that information with, it’s a violation of the ethics rules but not negligence that would rise to the level of seeking damages.

What Is The Difference Between A Bad Tactical Decision And legal Malpractice?

We get a lot of calls from clients who feel like they’ve been harmed and they want to explore the possibility of filing a legal malpractice claim against their lawyer. After investigation, we determine that it was a tactical error that was made, often times in cooperation with the client. A judgment call does not rise to the level of negligence. We do not take cases where we conclude that the lawyer made a judgment call and didn’t make an overt mistake or a mistake of omission.

What Is The Standard Of Care?

The standard of care in Louisiana for legal malpractice is the simple negligence standard. You have to prove that, more likely than not, the lawyer’s conduct caused the damages that the client suffered. In addition to the regular negligence standard, in legal malpractice cases in Louisiana, you first have to prove that the lawyer made a mistake. Then, the burden of proof shifts to the lawyer to prove that you could not have won the underlying case, regardless of the mistake. This is often called the case within the case. Even though the burden shifts, you effectively are having to try two cases in one.

Is A Legal Malpractice Complaint The Same As A Bar Grievance Or A Bar Complaint?

A legal malpractice claim is not the same as a Bar complaint. A Bar complaint is filed with the Bar Association. They have their own division that prosecutes lawyers for ethical violations and it does not have anything to do with a civil action for legal malpractice against a lawyer. There are a lot of times where a legal malpractice claim is being pursued against a lawyer and an ethical complaint is filed on those same cases. This typically arises from the lawyer’s failure to notify the client that the mistake was made and that they should seek independent counsel.

For more information on Legal Malpractice Claims In Louisiana, 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