An attorney who does not provide his or her clients the standard of care owed to them has very little chance of helping them prevail in their legal matter. If clients who are let down in this way were unable to sue their former lawyers for legal malpractice, they would likely have no other way of obtaining a measure of justice.
In a case from outside of California, a woman who suffered a work injury while working on a cruise ship has sued the firm she hired to represent her in that case. She says the firm, and specifically the attorneys assigned to her, mishandled her claim and failed to thoroughly investigate what happened.
The plaintiff was injured while aboard the ship in 1996. She later sued her employer under the federal Jones Act, which handles maritime worker injuries. She lost her case.
According to the legal malpractice complaint she filed in December, she would have won had her attorneys not acted negligently and as if they knew nothing about the Jones Act. An article about the lawsuit does not go into greater detail about how the defendants allegedly mishandled her claim.
One of the defendants is still with the law firm, while the other left the firm in 2014. The plaintiff is seeking at least $5 million in various damages.
She is reportedly representing herself. While a bad experience with an attorney may make it hard to trust lawyers, a person without knowledge or experience in the law is going to have a hard time avoiding procedural mistakes and making a strong case at trial.