How To Choose the Best Legal Malpractice Attorney for Your Case
The best way to set yourself up for success in a legal malpractice case is to choose the best legal malpractice attorney that you possibly can. The best way to do that is to research them thoroughly and familiarize yourself with some basic elements of legal malpractice.
You’re likely in this position (looking for a new attorney) because you have hired a bad lawyer in the past. Therefore, we’ll skip through the part where we tell you how important the decision to hire your lawyer is. Instead, we’ll take this time to give you some tips that point you in the right direction on hiring your new attorney to sue your old attorney.
The lawyers who sue lawyers at Sears Crawford have been suing attorneys who commit legal malpractice in Texas for decades. We know all of the signs of a bad attorney and are uniquely qualified to provide the advice that can help you choose a good one.
How do I choose the best legal malpractice attorney for my case?
The first thing you should do when choosing a lawyer to represent you, whether you’re looking for lawyers that sue lawyers for malpractice or a Texas truck accident attorney, is research them thoroughly.
Research malpractice firms using reputable websites
Attorneys should be judged based on their past successes and reputation rather than the size of the billboard that they’ve purchased.
We recommend heading over to the Texas Bar Association first, to confirm that they are eligible to practice law in the state as well as check their disciplinary history. You should think very carefully about hiring an attorney that has faced previous disciplinary history, as it can be a sign that you should investigate that attorney further before hiring them.
Next, head over to SuperLawyers.com, and type in the name of the attorney you’re thinking about hiring. The Super Lawyers selection process is rigorous, and involves selection by a group of the attorney’s peers, ensuring that they not only have a record of success with their clients but that they also command the respect and admiration of other attorneys. Ross Sears II has been designated a Texas Super Lawyer 13 years in a row and counting.
When hiring an attorney, remember that having the largest marketing budget does not always make them the best legal malpractice attorney for your case.
Read reviews to see what their previous clients have to say
Because legal malpractice in Texas is a field of such great specialty, instead of looking for a high number of reviews, you should be looking for high-quality reviews. Some questions you might want to ask yourself include:
- Do they have recent reviews?
- Do they have over four stars?
- Are the reviews mentioning cases that are similar to yours?
- Are clients happy with the services rendered, or wowed by them?
Other than positive outcomes for cases, legal malpractice attorneys should leave their previous clients with a sense of justice served, and this should come across in their reviews online.
Another way to advocate for yourself while hiring a legal malpractice attorney in Houston, or anywhere in Texas, is to learn a bit about legal malpractice cases and go to the lawyer-consultation with a few questions in mind.
What to learn about legal malpractice in Texas before you hire a lawyer
What is the statute of limitations on legal malpractice in Texas?
You should know this before ever picking up the phone to contact an attorney because once the statute of limitations has run out it is likely that you will no longer have a case.
The statute of limitations on legal malpractice is usually two years from the date of discovery of malpractice. Under certain circumstances, the statute of limitations can be four years from the date of discovery of malpractice instead of two, but to know for sure you will have to speak with an experienced lawyer that sues lawyers for malpractice.
Why is it so hard to win a malpractice case?
Asking your lawyer this question can be a great way to test the waters on their openness and honesty with you. Any good legal malpractice lawyer will tell you that it is hard to win a case for legal malpractice, and lawyers suggesting that it will be easy might just be looking to collect a fee and move on.
Legal malpractice cases are difficult to win because the burden of proof rests on the plaintiff for three separate things:
- There was a duty of care
- That duty was breached
- That breach resulted in harm
In other words, even if you prove that your lawyer behaved negligently, in order to win a legal malpractice suit, your attorney will need to prove that their behavior caused you economic harm.
A few more reasons why legal malpractice cases are hard (which is why very few lawyers handle these cases) is because:
- Lawyers don’t like to admit fault, and fight like hell to avoid it
- Lawyers who have been sued often hire even better lawyers to defend them
- Many (if not most) attorneys do NOT carry malpractice insurance
What is an example of malpractice?
The only way to know for sure whether or not your attorney committed legal malpractice is to discuss the facts with an attorney that specializes in handling legal malpractice cases. In general, some examples of unethical attorney behavior that often constitute legal malpractice include:
- Failure to know or apply the law, which occurs when an attorney takes on a case outside of their expertise, without telling you, and it impacts the case.
- Failure to obtain client consent, which occurs when an attorney settles a case without their client’s consent.
- Failure to calendar, which occurs whenever an attorney misses important deadlines that negatively impact the case.
- Attorney fraud, which encompasses any sort of deception by an attorney.
- Overbilling* or misappropriation of funds, which can include unreasonably high fees or misuse of money allocated to your case.
*Continue reading: How to prove attorney overbilling
Looking for the best legal malpractice attorney for your case? You can count on Ross Sears II at Sears Crawford.
Hiring an attorney may sound like the last thing you want to do right now, but taking the time to select the best legal malpractice attorney you possibly can will be vital to the overall success of your case.
Ross Sears II, co-founding attorney of Sears Crawford and Texas Super Lawyer 13 years running, has been holding lawyers accountable for malpractice for over 30 years. He is a Board Certified, award-winning lawyer that sues lawyers for malpractice, who will fight for you to right the wrongs done by your previous attorney.
Call Ross at Sears Crawford today at 713-223-3333 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
More Helpful Articles by Sears Crawford:
- When To File an Ethics Complaint Against a Lawyer vs When To Sue Them
- Can I Talk to Another Attorney Before Firing My Current One?
- Negligence vs Malpractice: What is the Difference?
- What Does My Lawyer’s Fiduciary Duty Require?
- I Think I Hired a Lawyer With a Conflict of Interest