What Do I Do If My Lawyer Lost My Case?

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What Do I Do If My Lawyer Lost My Case?

Frustrated clients argue with an attorney who lost their case.

My lawyer lost my case. What can I do next? Do I have to just give up and move on, or can I appeal the decision or get another lawyer? You may be asking yourself these questions if you’ve just wrapped up a legal matter and the results were not quite what you hoped.

Sometimes good attorneys lose tough cases, and there is nothing that can be done — but sometimes attorneys don’t perform their duties adequately, make mistakes, and screw up cases that are otherwise winnable. If the latter was the case for you, you may still have a path toward justice.

The bad news is that once the judge has swung their gavel, their decision is usually final. Normally neither you nor your previous attorney can get them to reconsider their decision or reopen the matter.

The good news is that if your lawyer lost your case because of their own negligence, with the help of lawyers that sue lawyers, you might be able to sue them for malpractice and recover what you are owed.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of legal malpractice, please fill out the case information sheet online at http://searscrawford.com to see if your case facts fit our firm’s case criteria.  Alternatively, you can call Ross Sears of Sears Crawford today at (713) 223-3333, although filling out the online form is typically the quickest way to get a response from us on your case.  Ross Sears has been suing lawyers in Texas for over 30 years and has what it takes to get you what you deserve.

Is losing a case bad for a lawyer? Does it mean I can sue them?

While your attorney losing your case is always deeply frustrating, it does not alone mean that you can sue them. Especially in civil courts, you have to remember that there is always a loser.

Sometimes, good lawyers lose cases, and this does not at all indicate that they have been negligent or have committed malpractice; even the most skilled attorneys sometimes take cases that they can’t win. Generally speaking all lawyers lose cases at some point in their career.  An attorney’s responsibility to their client is to always keep their best interests in mind and always act as a reasonable and prudent advocate for those interests.

Attorneys are also capable of making mistakes, and an attorney’s mistakes can sometimes cost their clients greatly. Whether your attorney made an earnest mistake or developed a pattern of distracted and negligent behavior, you may be able to sue your attorney for malpractice if a mistake was made in your case, that caused harm to your case.

What is the most common complaint against lawyers?

If you find yourself wondering, “Why is my attorney ignoring me?” then you’re experiencing the number one most common complaint against lawyers: bad communication.

Does bad communication mean that you have grounds to sue your lawyer? Not necessarily, as there are a handful of reasons that your attorney may not be getting back to you.

  • They’re in court!
  • They don’t have any material updates on your case.
  • They’re disorganized.
  • They’ve got bad news.

While some of the reasons listed above are realities that every attorney has to deal with, and some are things that could constitute attorney malpractice, at the end of the day, there really is no excuse for attorneys to leave you in the dark.

We understand if your attorney isn’t answering calls late at night, but there’s no excuse for clients to feel confused about the state of their case, concerned about the progress their attorneys are making, or ignored.

What are examples of unethical attorney behavior?

While there are many things that an attorney can do that might be considered unethical, not all unethical behaviors are considered types of legal malpractice in Texas. While this is not an exhaustive list by any means, the most common types of legal malpractice that we see at Sears Crawford include:

  • Overbilling or unconscionable fees. This occurs when your attorney charges you fees that are not justified by the work performed.
  • Breach of contract. This applies to an attorney not fulfilling specific terms or obligations agreed to in your contract.
  • Fraud. Attorney fraud is a general term that describes any form of self-dealing or deception.
  • Failure to calendar. Failing to calendar is missing deadlines, court dates, or important filings.
  • Failure to obtain client consent. This usually applies to an attorney settling a client’s case without fully informing the client or without the client’s consent.
  • Failure to know or apply the law. Your attorney fails to know or apply the law when taking on a case outside their area of specialty.
  • Breach of fiduciary duty. Your attorney’s fiduciary duty means that they must always act in your best interests and place your interest above their own. They may have violated this important legal standard if they do not do this. Breaches of fiduciary duty commonly present themselves in conflicts of interest and failure to disclose conflicts of interest, as well as situations where an attorney puts their own financial interest ahead of their client.

Continue reading about the different types of malpractice:

Don’t wait to act: the statute of limitations on malpractice

The statute of limitations of legal malpractice in Texas dictates how long you have to file a malpractice lawsuit. If you wait until the statute of limitations has passed to file a claim, you may be barred from recovering the damages that you are owed.

The Texas legal malpractice statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of discovery of the malpractice, so if you’re worried about your current attorney’s behavior or they already lost your case, do not wait to reach out to an experienced Houston legal malpractice attorney to seek justice.

Continue reading: When is it too late to fire your attorney?

Filing a grievance with the State Bar of Texas

If you believe that your attorney acted unethically or improperly, you can file a grievance with the Texas State Bar. The Texas State Bar’s online portal gives detailed instructions on filing a grievance against your attorney, and you can do so online. The more supporting material you attach to your grievance, the better your chance of it succeeding.

You should not, however, rely on the grievance system alone for your justice. If your attorney committed legal malpractice, lost your case, and caused you harm, you should still contact a legal malpractice attorney to help. The system is imperfect, and you can’t expect that a grievance will always lead to an investigation or return the right results. In fact, in my experience, the grievance system is flawed and generally unreliable.

If you have a matter with your attorney that you need to resolve, consulting a Texas malpractice attorney is still a recommended step.

Continue reading about Ethics complaints and the Texas Attorney Disciplinary Board.

Lawyer lose a winnable case? Call Sears Crawford for help.

If you’re thinking, “My lawyer lost my case, it’s all over,” you can rest assured that it may not be. With the help of an experienced and aggressive legal malpractice attorney, you may still have a chance to make things right.

If you believe that your attorney committed malpractice and it led to the loss of your case, you need to contact a legal malpractice attorney in Houston before it’s too late. Ross Sears has over three decades of experience suing lawyers in Texas and getting his clients what they deserve. Call Ross today at 713-223-3333 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

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