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What does proving a legal malpractice “case within the case” mean?

You want to make the case that you have a meritorious California legal malpractice case, and you think have a compelling claim.

For starters, you suffered damages that caught you totally by surprise. In fact, you thought that the matter you retained your attorney to represent you in was destined to result in your certain victory. Other people told you that. Perhaps your legal counsel also gave confident assurances concerning an expected outcome that didn’t come remotely close to occurring.

And then there is the strong evidence that exists indicating your lawyer’s negligence. You have no doubt that your advocate delivered substandard performance.

Provided you can convince a court of those two things (your attorney’s negligence and your resulting damages suffered), you have cleared all hurdles in your malpractice case, right? Nothing further stands in your way to thwart a money recovery for your lawyer’s subpar representation.

Actually, something does, and it disappoints many would-be malpractice claimants. Indeed, your legal counsel might have delivered negligent performance. And you might in fact have suffered damages in your case. But you must actually provide evidence to a court to sufficiently convince it that your attorney’s errors caused you to lose a matter you would otherwise have won.

Another way to put that is to note that you would have prevailed in your underlying legal matter “but for” your advocate’s substandard work.

That is the “case within the case” spotlighted in today’s blog headline. A disgruntled client must prove both an attorney’s culpability in an original case and then additionally prevail on a malpractice claim.

Although those can be formidable hurdles to clear, they do not turn out to be insurmountable for legions of claimants with bona-fide claims.

Experienced pro-victims’ legal malpractice attorneys routinely help diverse and valued clients establish their case within the case and win recoveries that meaningfully address lawyerly negligence.