Far too many times, individuals hold the false belief that their attorney is untouchable. On the contrary, you can fire your lawyer anytime if your case is not pending in court. Even then, you can receive permission to terminate the relationship. However, despite such freedoms, firing an attorney is no light matter.
For many people in Chicago, their house is their biggest investment. Whether you have built your house from scratch, or spent thousands on renovations, your expectations are the same. You trust that your property is safe, and maintains value. However, the presence of toxic mold changes everything.
All healthy relationships require a basic foundation of trust: Professional relationships are no different. Oftentimes, business owners, contractors and other individuals put their finances in the hands of an investor or advisor. You enter a state of vulnerability when you rest your confidence in another's ability. Breach of fiduciary duty happens when that person breaks your trust.
Legal malpractice can come in many different forms. Some are subtler than others, but all have the potential to add complications to your case and personal life. Common ways you could be a victim of legal malpractice can include planning errors, failure to properly apply the law, inadequate work and conflict of interest.
Nobody wants to be charged fees that exceed the quantity or quality of the services received. It can be an unethical practice for any business. Attorneys often are put under the stereotype of charging clients for as much as possible to get the most money. While this is not true for every attorney in existence, there have been many who were caught and charged for crossing the line.
Buying or selling real estate is a significant financial commitment and a stressful experience for many Illinois residents. Some families hire a real estate attorney to guide them through the transaction and execute the due diligence necessary to avoid costly mistakes.
However, lawyers can make mistakes. Maybe your lawyer failed to properly execute a title search, did not disclose pertinent information or acted in opposition to your wishes. Now, you are left cleaning up an expensive mistake and believe that your attorney is to blame. Could you pursue a legal malpractice claim?
Legal malpractice describes a situation in which an attorney has either been negligent with a client's case or handled it in a way that purposefully caused harm or damage to the client. An attorney may not be perfect, but it's important to be able to discern small mistakes from legal malpractice.
If you're suspicious about your attorney's treatment of your case, taking these three steps may help protect you from potential legal malpractice:
The legal system was designed so clients can speak openly with their attorneys, securing the legal guidance they need without information being used against them. To guard this exchange of information, clients are protected by client-attorney privileges and a duty of confidentiality. Together, these protections promote honesty and trust between you and your attorney.
But the system is not foolproof. What happens if your attorney wrongly shares confidential information and it does harm your case? Depending upon the circumstances, you may be able to file for legal malpractice.
As a business owner, you hired a professional accountant to assist with your tax returns. You should be able to trust that the accountant will pay attention to details and properly file your returns on time, but what if you cannot?
If your accountant made serious mistakes on your tax return, you could face substantial penalties from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) including late fees, additional interest payments, penalties for negligence or even accusations of intentional fraud. This can severely impact your business, and all because you trusted a trained professional with your business's well-being. Depending on the situation, you may have a case for accounting malpractice.
A dishonest lawyer is the last person you want defending your legal rights. What you really need on your team is someone you can trust -- someone who will advocate for you in a way that's up front, transparent and honest.
Your attorney should be fighting for your best interests -- but if you can't trust him or her -- you might as well give up your case right now.
Success in life is often about the questions we are brave enough to ask, and hiring a lawyer is no different. That's why it's important to ask any new lawyer "tough" questions that get to the heart of the information you require to make an informed hiring decision.
Remember: When you're hiring a lawyer, you're the boss and the decision is yours.