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Are legal malpractice claims important for a healthy legal system?

Like every profession, there are some who go into law for good reasons and some who do not. Those who begin for the right reasons, may lose track along the way, or make an error during a case. These are just a few potential reasons that can lead to questions about malpractice, it is important for clients to keep in mind that legal malpractice claims are an important part of a healthy legal system.

This may seem counterintuitive, but these claims serve three beneficial goals:

#1. Accountability.

A legal malpractice claim holds an attorney who fails to properly represent a client accountable for their wrongdoing. A client cannot sue simply because they are upset with the outcome of the case. Instead, these claims provide an avenue for recourse when an attorney failed to provide representation that meet the expected duty of care.

If so, then the attorney was negligent and should be held accountable for their negligence.

#2. Deterrence.

The accountability noted above will deter both the attorney responsible for the error and other legal professionals from making the same mistake. This serves to help build the legal community as a whole, forcing those who practice to rise up to the expectations of their chosen profession as outlined within the American Bar Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct.

#3. Funds.

A successful malpractice claim will likely also result in an award of damages to the client, removing funds from the faulty party and giving them to the victim.

Because of these benefits, clients who believe their attorney failed to provide representation in line with the accepted standards of professional conduct should not hesitate to hold their attorney accountable through a malpractice claim.