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Not every malpractice claim succeeds: Why do some fail?

Plaintiffs in legal malpractice litigation who allege injury-causing wrongdoing on the part of a retained attorney or law firm are no more immune from wishful thinking than anybody else.

That is, they might have a tendency to see their legal claim in a perspective not reasonably shared by others, that is, with those proverbial rose-colored glasses firmly tightened around their ears

The bottom line: Some claims have clear legal merit, while others, well ….

And that reality underscores a central necessity relevant to any would-be litigant who contemplates taking legal action against a lawyer for rendering substandard legal services.

That is this: Timely secure the representation of a proven legal malpractice attorney. A potential case needs to be thoroughly and professionally evaluated and fully vetted before it is filed — if, indeed, it even should be commenced.

A case in point recently emerged in a matter before a federal appellate court that was examining a malpractice complaint filed by a litigant alleging that his retained law firm had acted unprofessionally while representing him. Specifically, the appellant argued that counsel improperly took his case to arbitration rather than to court and ultimately settled for an unduly low amount.

On appeal, the case was tossed out of court.

The problem: The individual had lost a previous court case alleging the same cause of action, meaning that no new legal matter was before the appellate tribunal for consideration. Additionally, the suit was barred by extreme tardiness; the relevant statute of limitations governing it had lapsed years before.

The relevant matters applicable to a legal malpractice claim can be many and complex. An experienced malpractice attorney can fully examine them and counsel a would-be litigant on strategies that fully promote his or her legal interests.