Every state has a bar association. The state tasks this group of legal professionals with monitoring those who practice within the profession. This group can issue penalties if lawyers violate the rules of their profession and, in some instances, even prohibit an attorney from continuing to practice within the profession.
Although this helps to protect the public as a whole, what about the specific client who was wronged? Are there any remedies for this individual?
Remedies for those who receive poor legal counsel
In some instances, the client may be able to hold the legal professional accountable through a legal malpractice suit. This can lead to compensation to help cover any expense or financial damage resulting from the poor legal representation.
Ethical violations during the pandemic
When it comes to ethical violations, some of the more common mistakes can include competency, communication, issues with the attorney client relationship and problems with billing.
Competency extends beyond knowledge of the subject area. A client can hold an attorney accountable if they falsely claim to know family law and claim to have experience representing cases that pose similar issues. However, the attorney can also be liable if they do not stay current with technological advances. This may be even more relevant right now, as courts are attempting to move forward using remote meetings other forms of technology to reduce the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus. An attorney that fails to stay current with the technology used by the courts during the pandemic may be failing their client.
Misstating experience can result in a violation of the professional rules of conduct. Model Rule 7.1 states that lawyers shall not engage in false and misleading communications. Exaggerating experience in a subject area or with technology could qualify.