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You think your attorney performed badly, but was it malpractice?

Readers might reasonably think that, for such a seemingly simple and direct question as that posed above in today’s blog headline, there must be a straightforward and definitive answer.

And there is.

To wit: maybe.

The law is centrally about the facts, regardless of what topic is being considered, which makes it critically important that proofs be addressed in any legal dispute.

And that includes contention regarding an attorney’s alleged deviation from a common standard of competent performance that would typically be rendered by any of his or her peers in a given matter.

We noted the somewhat slippery slope of legal malpractice in a blog post of last week, pointing out in our January 23 entry that malpractice “goes beyond mere dissatisfaction with the outcome of a case.” We stressed that “it may not always be clear whether your previous counsel should have done more to advocate for your interests.”

An experienced plaintiffs’ legal malpractice attorney can help provide the clarity necessary to determine whether filing a legal malpractice claim might be reasonable in a given case.

As noted in an online overview and discussion of the elements central in establishing legal malpractice, several factors must be closely considered in reaching a conclusion.

For starters, a lawyer must have owed you a legal duty to act on your behalf. If you retained an attorney to represent you in a legal matter, you can safely assume that he or she was tasked to act with due competence in advocating for you.

To succeed, a malpractice claim must establish that the attorney breached that duty of care and competence by acting in bad faith or negligently and in a manner that would not have been approximated by a reasonably competent lawyer.

Moreover, that breach must have a close correlation with provable injuries suffered by you, and it must have resulted in financial harm.

If all those elements are present, a would-be plaintiff might arguably have grounds for filing a legal malpractice claim.

In some instances, that complaint might be challenged hard by a defendant attorney. In others, the facts might be deemed to be strongly in a plaintiff’s favor by a judge or jury.

A proven malpractice attorney can offer advice and provide diligent legal representation to any individual who has been financially harmed by deficient legal counsel and seeks to pursue a remedy to recover resulting personal losses.