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Lake County Malpractice & Litigation Blog

Check for these red flags to know if your lawyer is dishonest

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.

How to interview a prospective lawyer for the job

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.

Examples of legal malpractice

Imagine your lawyer told you what a great case you have before you hired him. In fact, from your lawyer's descriptions, it sounded like you had a "slam-dunk," the law was completely on your side, and you were virtually guaranteed to win.

A couple of months into your case, however, your lawyer delivers some sad news. Your case was dismissed. He said that he's sorry, and there's nothing he can do. After a little bit more investigation, you discover that the judge didn't dismiss your case due to lack of merit. The judge dismissed your case because your lawyer missed a vital deadline. You may have been the victim of legal malpractice.

Construction defects devalue your home

You moved into your new home and were enjoying everything about it. You picked out the plans, the paint colors, the flooring and all other aspects of your home. The one thing that has been troubling you is that the home is extremely cold.

Even though you upgraded the insulation in your contract and insisted on energy efficiency, you've received bills you never could have dreamed of in the past. After looking around your home, you realize that the windows don't look like they're sealed tightly. Additionally, the walls feel cold.

A breach of fiduciary duty hurts clients

When you entrust an attorney to do something for you, you expect that to get done. For example, if the attorney works to invest or create a trust for you, you expect that your money is going where you were told it would go. If you find out that the attorney did not use your money correctly or used it for his or her own personal gain, then you can pursue a legal malpractice claim.

Breaching one's fiduciary duty is serious. It means that funds were misused in a way that hurt you as a client. It becomes your fight to pursue a claim against the person who misused your funds, so you can get back what you lost.

5 steps to help you choose a good lawyer

The last thing you want, in your hour of legal need, is to hire a bad lawyer who doesn't advocate for you in the right way. Even worse, what if you hire a negligent lawyer who loses your case because he commits legal malpractice?

If you want to a avoid a circumstance like this, there are a few important steps to take.

Should do a background check on your lawyer?

Countless employers throughout the nation run background checks on every employee they hire. If you're employed in Illinois, there's a good chance that a current or former employer has subjected you to a background check.

With so many employers running background checks, if you're considering hiring a lawyer to work for you, don't you think it might be appropriate to run a background check on your lawyer, too?

Attorney missed the statute of limitations? Here's what to do

You thought everything was going well with your attorney. You had given him all your information and documents early on, so you expected that he'd filed the documents with the court and started your case. You had months before the statute of limitations would limit your claim, so you had full confidence that you'd see your day in court.

Your shock was obvious when you found out that the paperwork had been misplaced and was never filed. Although there had been some miscommunication, you had always been clear about the deadline and what you expected from your attorney. Now, you can't make your claim and have mounting medical bills to handle.

Is your attorney returning calls? You might be a victim

As a client, you expect your attorney to call you regularly or at least to stay in touch in some manner. When he or she doesn't do so to update you on your case, you may feel like you're out of the loop and have no idea what's happening with your lawsuit. When an attorney doesn't get back to you promptly, it may be a sign of legal malpractice, which is something you could file a lawsuit for in some cases.

If you suspect that your attorney is avoiding your calls or not taking your case seriously, there are a few things you can do to repair the lines of communication. Here are a few steps to try before you consult another attorney about malpractice.

Signs of legal malpractice: 3 things your lawyer cannot do

When Illinois residents go to a lawyer for legal representation, they're usually taking a leap of faith. It doesn't matter if you found your lawyer via an internet search or if a friend recommended him or her. By retaining an attorney, you're putting your trust in the lawyer's ability to offer you sound legal guidance and representation.

In most cases, Illinois lawyers do an excellent and suitable job for their clients. In other cases, they commit malpractice or violate the standards of service that legal clients can expect to receive given their circumstances. In this respect, let's take a look at three things your lawyer cannot do.

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The Gooch Firm
209 South Main Street
Wauconda, IL 60084

Phone: 847-865-4915
Phone: 847-526-0110
Fax: 847-526-0603
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