Legal Malpractice Lawyers Fort Lauderdale
Experienced Lawyers Represent Clients Harmed Due to Legal Malpractice in Palm Beach County, FL
While it is true that lawyers are only human, we are subject to rigorous training requirements for a reason—on a daily basis, we are placed in a position where our actions can have a significant impact upon our clients’ financial and overall well-being. Because of this, we are held to a much higher standard of care than that which otherwise applies. This heightened duty of care is known as fiduciary responsibility, which means that lawyers are required to put their clients best interests first, and act ethically and responsibly in all dealings with those clients. When a lawyer breaches that duty of care or commits some type of wrongdoing, that lawyer should be held responsible for the damages caused by that action.
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, we take our legal responsibility to clients extremely seriously and fight to make sure our fellow lawyers also uphold their end of the bargain. If you believe you have been the victim of legal malpractice, you may feel uncertain where to turn—after all, you turned to your lawyer for help in the first place and your confidence was broken. Our Fort Lauderdale legal malpractice lawyers pride ourselves on providing smart and trustworthy legal representation, and we have a decades’ long track record to show as proof of our dedication to our clients. We can help you hold a negligent lawyer accountable for harmful actions or omissions, so call us today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
Establishing a Cause of Action for Legal Malpractice in South Florida
The level of skill, knowledge, and experience possessed by any given lawyer can vary dramatically in South Florida. As in any other profession, not every lawyer is a great lawyer—and establishing a valid claim for legal malpractice requires more than simply showing that your lawyer lost your case. Despite this, lawyers continue to have a legal duty to their clients, and if a lawyer breaches this duty by providing negligent representation, breaching a contract or otherwise harming the client, that lawyer may be held responsible. A claim for legal malpractice may be appropriate, for example, when the lawyer:
- Fails to meet important court deadlines,
- Overlooks the statute of limitations in a case,
- Breaches his or her duty of confidentiality,
- Fails to obtain the client’s permission with respect to a legal strategy or action,
- Fails to provide the client with the information necessary to make a decision about the case strategy,
- Charges an excessive fee,
- Loses an important document or piece of evidence in your case,
- Makes an unreasonable error in case planning,
- Is negligent in conducting discovery or the investigation necessary to establish your claim,
- Commits fraud or lies to you about his or her qualifications,
- Fails to adequately supervise inexperienced staff members or colleagues,
- And more.
Skilled Legal Malpractice Lawyers at Lawlor, White & Murphey Fight to Protect Clients’ Rights Throughout South Florida
Legal malpractice cases can be complicated in that they essentially require examination of two different cases—in other words, our lawyers will both gain an in-depth understanding of the initial case that motivated you to retain a lawyer in the first place, and then we will examine that lawyer’s actions or omissions with respect to the legal malpractice claim. Most legal malpractice cases will proceed based upon one of three theories, including:
- Negligence. A negligence theory in the context of legal malpractice requires establishing that the lawyer failed to act as any reasonably competent lawyer in the field would have acted under the circumstances and that this negligence caused you harm.
- Breach of contract. When a lawyer fails to complete his or her end of the contract to which you agreed prior to beginning a case, that lawyer may have committed legal malpractice.
- Breach of fiduciary duty. A fiduciary duty essentially requires the lawyer (as fiduciary) to put the client’s best interests ahead of his or her own interests. When the lawyer does the opposite, a breach that rises to the level of legal malpractice may result.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with the Skilled Legal Malpractice Lawyers at Lawlor, White & Murphey Today
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, we understand that an attorney has recently broken your trust, and want all of our potential legal malpractice clients to know how seriously we take this breach. We provide all of our potential clients with a free initial consultation so that you can get to know us before choosing to retain our services—and we also work on a contingency basis, so you are not required to pay us anything unless and until we recover compensation in your case. Call our offices today, or fill out this brief online contact form, to schedule an appointment with one of our South Florida legal malpractice lawyers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Florida Legal Malpractice Claims
FAQ: What do I have to show in order to recover compensation in a legal malpractice case?
First, of course, the existence of an attorney-client relationship must be established. The fact that this relationship exists serves to establish that the attorney owed you a duty of care. Next, our lawyers will investigate to determine whether the lawyer was negligent, or in some way breached this duty. The final element that must generally be established are causation and harm—in other words, that the lawyer’s breach of duty caused you some sort of harm (for example, receiving a lower compensation award than that which you should have received in your initial case, or losing that case outright).
FAQ: How are legal malpractice cases resolved?
Any number of procedures may be used in a legal malpractice case. In some cases, you may have signed an agreement with the lawyer that calls for the case to be resolved via arbitration, which is a process where a neutral third party “arbitrator” hears the case and evaluates the circumstances. In other cases, we may file a civil lawsuit against the lawyer for damages. In cases where the contract with your lawyer called for non-binding arbitration, we can even challenge the arbitrator’s decision and have the case reviewed in court.