Tampa & St. Petersburg Legal Malpractice Attorney
Legal malpractice is a form of professional negligence that occurs when an attorney breaches his or her duty of care to a client. Attorneys owe clients a fiduciary duty, a duty to act in the client’s best interest, and when attorneys fail to uphold their fiduciary duty it may lead to a lawsuit for legal malpractice. In Florida, an attorney may be held liable for a failure to act with a reasonable degree of care, skill, and dispatch in representing a client. Contact our Tampa legal malpractice attorney for more information.
Legal malpractice claims may be based on the following attorney conduct:
- Ignorance of applicable law or failure to apply the applicable law in a case;
- Failure to meet deadlines, especially those set by statute or by a court;
- Failure to get the client’s consent before taking key action such as accepting settlement offers;
- Conflict of interest;
- Fraud or misrepresentation; and/or
- Misappropriating client funds.
These actions may lead to the dismissal of the client’s valid claims, damage to a client’s image, and in some cases, losses of large sums of client funds. Negligent attorneys also erode the public trust in the legal profession.
Proving a legal malpractice case can be difficult depending on the basis of the claim. If a client loses a case for example, the plaintiff would have to show that if the attorney had not been negligent in representing the client, the client would not have lost the case. This does not mean that an attorney can be sued for losing a case alone, as the law recognizes that an attorney may make some decisions in the client’s interest that are well-reasoned even though they may not ultimately lead to success in the client’s case. In the criminal context, a person who is convicted of a crime has more of a huddle because the law requires that the person first have his conviction reversed or overturned in order to sue his trial attorney for legal malpractice.
If a client does not suffer any harm from the unprofessional actions of an attorney, the client may not be able to sue the attorney for legal malpractice. However, depending on the actions of the attorney, the client can report the attorney to the Florida Bar. Depending on the nature of the complaint and the attorney’s conduct, the attorney may be subject to disciplinary action.
In Florida, a professional malpractice claim, except for medical malpractice, has a two-year statute of limitation. This means that a legal malpractice claim has to be brought within two years of the cause of action arising, or within two years of when the cause of action should have been discovered through due diligence. Therefore, it is important for a client to act as soon as he or she suspects that an attorney has failed in the attorney’s duty. Contact our Tampa legal malpractice attorneys today.
Contact an Experienced Tampa Legal Malpractice Attorney
If you feel that an attorney failed in his duty to represent you, causing you to suffer harm, you may have a claim against the attorney for legal malpractice. Contact the experienced legal malpractice attorneys at Saady & Saxe for a consultation today.