What Constitutes Legal Malpractice in Cincinnati, OH?

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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 and sacred one. That’s why it can be devastating if your lawyer loses your trust and 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?

legal informationA legal malpractice case can be extremely complex and requires a high degree of skill. 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 expertise and 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.

Should you fire the attorney you believe committed the malpractice?

It is important to be certain that your attorney has or is committing legal malpractice. Sometimes clients who believe their lawyer has, want to know if they should fire said attorney before meeting with an Ohio malpractice lawyer. In certain cases, it may not be the wise move to fire your lawyer until you consult with a malpractice lawyer.

Proving legal malpractice

A case lost does not mean there has been malpractice or negligence. Proving legal malpractice is sometimes straightforward, as with failure to meet a deadline which can cause a client to lose their right to make a legal claim.

Establishing that an attorney failed to exercise the standard of care expected of attorneys handling other matters can sometimes be challenging. Doing so can require 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. You must also show that an attorney-client relationship existed at the time of the infraction, and that you were somehow damaged as a result of the malpractice.

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.