Negligence In Legal Malpractice Cases

Attorney negligence or "malpractice" is proven with testimony from an expert, another attorney in the same field, who explains how and why the attorney's conduct was negligent.

When it comes to how your attorney treats you when representing you on a legal matter, there are guidelines for how he or she is supposed to act, including those set out in the California Rules of Professional Conduct and Business & Professions Code. Attorney malfeasance that causes you damages is also an element you must prove in order to pursue a legal malpractice claim against a lawyer whose behavior has harmed you.

At Browning|Hocker, attorney Robert N. Hocker has handled many legal malpractice cases. Before becoming a lawyer for legal malpractice plaintiffs, he defended malpractice cases, so he understands the issue from all sides and can anticipate how opposing counsel may respond.

What Is Lawyer Negligence?

Attorneys are expected to demonstrate professional competence and ethical fitness in the matters they take on. Examples of failing this standard can include:

  • Failing to protect clients in contracts, sales, purchases, trusts, wills etc.
  • Failing to meet deadlines
  • Failing to disclose or present evidence
  • Failing to advise or misadvising a client of about the client's case or the options available to the client, including whether a case should be settled or go to trial
  • Failing to advise or not properly advising a client about settlement
  • Failing to competently represent a client at trial
  • When representing a client in a transactional process (contract, business deal), failing to provide clear guidance on all relevant laws governing the transaction, including, but not limited to, adverse business, personal or tax ramifications

Negligence In The Courtroom

Attorney negligence can be especially damaging during a trial. Lawyers can be sued for legal malpractice if they do not conduct sufficient research on the case, do not identify witnesses to assist your case or fail to enter evidence that is needed to prove your case. Another area of negligence concerns if your lawyer failed to advise you of potential legal strategies you had open to you, including ones related to settlement of the action.

It is imperative to have your situation reviewed by an experienced legal malpractice attorney to understand if negligence was a factor in the negative results you experienced.

We Hold Lawyers Accountable For Their Actions

Browning|Hocker serves legal malpractice clients in the greater San Diego metro area, as well as throughout California. To learn more, call attorney Robert N. Hocker directly at 619-235-6818, or use our online intake form.