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Can you sue your lawyer? Things you need to know

You hire a lawyer to provide trustworthy legal advice and competent assistance. However, as your case moves forward, you may come to find that you're not getting the level of service you were promised.

This leads to an important question: Do you have the right to sue your lawyer for legal malpractice?

Although it's a challenge to win a legal malpractice lawsuit, it's not out of the question. Doing so means many things, such as establishing one of the following types of legal malpractice:

  • Negligence
  • Breach of contract
  • Breach of a fiduciary duty

For example, a common form of negligence is failure to file paperwork by a mandatory deadline. To establish that malpractice occurred, you must show the following:

  • The negligence resulted in a financial loss
  • The breach caused some form of harm or injury
  • The lawyer made a mistake or acted in a careless manner
  • The lawyer had the duty to provide competent representation

Furthermore, to win a legal malpractice case, you must prove that had the lawyer acted in the appropriate manner, you would have prevailed in court.

Here are some other questions to answer as you consider if you can or should sue your lawyer:

  • Is a lawyer required to keep all communication confidential? Yes, your lawyer must keep your communication confidential, meaning they do not have permission to share information with third parties without your consent.
  • Can a lawyer accept a settlement without first discussing it with you? No. Your lawyer must communicate with you any settlement offers, explaining what it means and your options for moving forward. They cannot make this decision on your behalf.
  • What can you do if your lawyer misuses funds held in your name? You may come to find that your lawyer is inappropriately managing funds. They have a fiduciary duty to act in your best interest, so you have the right to act if this doesn't happen.

You never want to find yourself in a dispute with your lawyer, but if you do, it's important to take action. Rather than assume everything will work out, learn more about your legal rights. This may lead you to take legal action against your lawyer.

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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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