Trustworthy attorneys offering guidance and protection
When you hire a lawyer, you place your trust in him or her to advise and represent you. The relationship between a lawyer and client is a special one. That’s why it’s disappointing if your lawyer fails to do a good job. Our lawyers at Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen, L.P.A., Co. help you navigate tricky waters and handles complex issues with a keen understanding of the legal system.
Did my lawyer commit legal malpractice?
Sometimes a lawyer not only disappoints you but also fails to handle your legal matter with the level of competence you have the right to expect. When this happens, your trust has been shattered and your rights may be lost. If your attorney violates a standard of care owed to you as a client and commits negligence that directly causes you damage, you have a case for legal malpractice.
Legal malpractice comes in many forms, including:
- Negligent handling of a case
- Missing a deadline for filing a claim (statute of limitations)
- Failure to advise a client about specific details of a case or settlement
- Failure to prosecute a case and having it dismissed as a result
- Suing the wrong parties
- Improperly using the client’s funds
- A conflict of interest between the lawyer and client
The attorney judgment rule
Attorneys and other professionals (doctors, accountants, etc.) are expected to use their professional judgment in dealing with the matters they handle. An attorney who acts with competence and good faith will be excused under the law if their judgment proves wrong, as long as his or her actions would be considered acceptable among experienced lawyers handling similar matters.
Every lost case does not result in legal malpractice. Just because hindsight dictates a different course of action would have been wiser is not enough. Negligence must be shown.
Proving legal malpractice
Proving legal malpractice is sometimes straightforward. Evidence that an attorney missed a key filing deadline, causing a client to lose their right to make a legal claim, often falls in this category.
But establishing that an attorney failed to exercise the standard of care expected of attorneys handling other matters can sometimes be challenging. Doing so usually requires the testimony of an expert witness. The expert witness will often be an attorney who specializes in the type of legal matter at the center of the malpractice claim. The expert should be an attorney with substantial experience, respected by his or her peers, whose opinion a jury will find convincing.
Reporting a bad lawyer
The legal malpractice attorneys at Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen, L.P.A., Co. have a keen understanding of ethics rules that apply to lawyers and can help you determine if your attorney committed malpractice. Understanding ethics rules, including the Rules of Professional Conduct issued by the Ohio Supreme Court, is important because a violation of ethics rules can also result in malpractice.
Reporting a bad lawyer is an option to consider when a lawyer’s actions, or failure to act, causes you harm. You can report a bad lawyer to:
- The Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Ohio Supreme Court
- The Ohio State Bar Association
- The Board of Commissioners on Grievances And Discipline, Ohio Supreme Court
Contact one of our capable legal malpractice attorneys in Cincinnati, OH
If your attorney committed ethical violations or failed to properly handle your legal matter, Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen, L.P.A., Co., Co. can advise you about whether you have a case for legal malpractice. We can also represent you in your legal action against the attorney in question. Call us at 513.721.6500 or contact us online. We provide a complimentary consultation to review your situation.