5 Things You Need to Know About Suing a Lawyer for Malpractice
If you were a victim of legal malpractice and are considering suing a lawyer for malpractice, there are certain facts that can be helpful to know in advance. At Sears & Crawford, we sue lawyers in Houston, throughout Texas, and across the country who have failed to represent their clients’ best interests. Our fiduciary duty is always to our clients, not to our colleagues. Holding lawyers accountable may not be the popular thing to do, but it’s the right thing to do.
Our legal malpractice attorneys in Houston share what they wish all of their clients knew when they begin to ask, “What recourse do I have against a lawyer?”
If you or someone you love was a recent victim of legal malpractice, call us today at 713-223-3333 to set up a free consultation and learn about your legal options.
1. There are alternatives to suing your lawyer
Going to court and suing your lawyer for malpractice is just one possible solution among many. If you decide not to sue your lawyer, the following options are still available to you.
- Make a good faith effort and speak with your lawyer. If you haven’t reached out to the lawyer to address your concerns, try resolving the problem outside of the legal system.
- To address ethics violations, you can file a grievance with the State Bar of Texas. While the Bar can’t award you with damages or force your lawyer to reestablish communication or continue with your case, your lawyer can face career consequences if the Office of Child Disciplinary Counsel finds your lawyer guilty of professional misconduct and issues a public sanction.
If you do decide to sue your lawyer, you may not want to file a grievance against them. Your legal malpractice lawyer Ross Sears or his partner Clay Crawford can advise you on whether or not any of the above options are preferable for your case.
2. If you do decide to sue your lawyer, you will be far better off hiring an Attorney like Ross Sears or Clay Crawford to sue your lawyer
Suing a lawyer for malpractice means going up against someone who is intimately familiar with the legal system. For that reason alone, it is wise to retain a trusted legal malpractice lawyer or professional negligence lawyer from Sears & Crawford if you decide that suing a lawyer for professional negligence or a similar infraction is your best option.
Having lawyers that sue lawyers by your side also means that you should receive help with the following:
- Understanding what type of legal malpractice your case involves: In order to sue your lawyer, you must first be able to prove that your lawyer is guilty of one of several types of malpractice, including but not limited to negligence, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, or failed to comply with the applicable rules/laws during their representation of their clients. Your legal malpractice lawyer can help you determine which claim to pursue and how best to pursue it.
- Establishing your claim: In order to successfully sue your lawyer for malpractice and receive compensation, you will need to present a claim that meets all the criteria for malpractice. For more information regarding the elements of malpractice claims, please refer to our article: What is Considered Malpractice for an Attorney? Or contact Ross Sears to answer any questions you have about your case.
- Keeping track of deadlines and paperwork: The legal system is full of deadlines, rules and other legal requirements. Keeping track of all of these pitfalls when suing a lawyer for malpractice can seem tedious, especially when you’re dealing with the fallout from a previous attorney-client relationship that went awry. Ross Sears, A legal malpractice lawyer can help.
- Gathering evidence: We will help you gather the evidence you need to present your case. Ross Sears, a legal malpractice attorney can help you identify and obtain this evidence and help you present the best facts and evidence to win your case.
- Deciding the best course of action between settlement and Trial: Should you take your case to trial, or try to enter into a settlement? Is there a better course of action? Ross Sears, a legal malpractice attorney, can help you determine which of the many courses of action available to you serves your best interests.
3. Not all legal malpractice attorneys are the same
As you can see, your legal malpractice attorney will play a big role in suing your previous lawyer for malpractice. You MUST hire an attorney with the reputation and skill necessary to strike fear in the other side and the Insurance Companies that represent them. You want an aggressive attorney who will zealously fight for your rights and get you the justice and money you deserve. Don’t take a bad situation with your previous attorney and make it worse by hiring the wrong legal malpractice attorney.
To vet the quality of your legal malpractice attorney, make sure to ask questions during your initial consultation. Most importantly, ask about their previous experience with cases like yours, including the outcomes of those cases. You will also want to look for lawyers who are board-certified in personal injury law, the umbrella field for legal malpractice. Board certification indicates that a lawyer has proven their excellence within their field of law. Ross Sears is board certified in Personal Injury Law. ALSO, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS make sure any lawyer you hire carries sufficient legal malpractice insurance coverage to protect your claim in case a mistake is made in handling it. Sears & Crawford proudly and dutifully carries legal malpractice insurance to protect our clients.
4. There is a deadline for suing your attorney
How long do you have to sue an attorney for malpractice? The statute of limitations on legal malpractice in Texas is generally two years from the date you discover your attorney’s malpractice. There are some circumstances that can extend that deadline, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. This is just one more reason that you need to make sure you timely hire Sears & Crawford’s legal malpractice attorneys to protect your rights.
5. The more information you bring to your initial consultation, the better
When you set up a consultation to speak with a legal malpractice attorney about suing a lawyer for malpractice, there are several things you can bring to make that initial meeting more informative and beneficial for both you and the malpractice attorney. These documents aren’t required for a meeting but they are certainly nice to have.
- A copy of the original case file from your previous lawyer. Note that they are legally obligated to supply you with a copy. The file belongs to you –– the client.
- A copy of your contract with your original lawyer.
- A copy of the critical court case documents, supplied by the court.
- Any notes or correspondence with the attorney about the problem you are complaining about.
Suing Your Lawyer for Malpractice? Call Sears & Crawford for Exceptional Representation.
Malpractice by a lawyer can have severe consequences for clients, but suing a lawyer for malpractice can often remedy the situation and bring justice to the client. A board certified, 30 year experienced legal malpractice attorney like Ross Sears can help you get the justice and money you deserve.
Ross Sears II of Sears & Crawford has over 30 years of experience successfully handling legal malpractice cases of all types. He is board-certified in personal injury law, a designated Super Lawyer for 10+ years, and was selected as being one of the Top 100 Civil Attorneys in Texas by The National Trial Lawyers Top 100.
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