A recent in-depth article addressed to practicing American attorneys sets forth a number of so-called “best practice” tips aimed at helping them steer clear of legal liability that might otherwise arise through deficient lawyering. The piece duly notes that legal malpractice risks are “at an all-time high” and understandably need to be guarded against to the fullest extent possible.
Notably, that attorney-focused “how to avoid litigation” directive can ironically serve as a primer for clients in California and elsewhere regarding the types of things to look for that can signal attorney shortcomings. Individuals and families that justifiably rely in good faith on an attorney’s competence often suspect but cannot precisely pinpoint the particulars of deficient advocacy.
The aforementioned article provides some specific examples.
Here’s one, for example: attorneys “taking on cases they have no business being engaged in.” That unfortunate reality often ensues when a lawyer takes on a matter that is not properly within his or her realm of expertise (e.g., consider a divorce case overseen by a personal injury attorney).
Red flags emerge too in representation that is routinely marked by a lawyer’s failure to meet relevant deadlines and to otherwise effectively manage time. If your counsel cannot be depended upon to timely respond to important matters on your behalf, something is wrong.
That rings equally true for sloppy documentation. If a client’s case is complex and marked by many oral and written communications, a sparse case file that does not accurately reflect their occurrence and details should emit warning signals.
There are other indicators of subpar legal representation that inflicts harm on a client, of course. They run a wide gamut from attorney conflicts of interest to billing improprieties.
Questions or concerns regarding any of the above subject matter can be candidly and confidentially addressed to an established team of pro-client legal malpractice attorneys.