Wisconsin Legal Malpractice
When someone hires an attorney to represent them, they have the right to presume that their attorney will provide valuable and proper representation in a timely manner. Lawyers should be capable to accurately assess the legal issues and laws involved in their client’s specific case or situation. It is a given that the lawyer effectively and efficiently communicates with their clients, protects all confidential communications and always works in their client’s best interests without exception.
Legal malpractice includes an assertion that an attorney did not successfully or appropriately carry out legal obligations due to their client. It is possible that legal malpractice transpires when damage results to a client as a consequence if an attorney does any of the following:
- neglects to meet vital deadlines (ex: statute of limitations),
- fails to properly communicate with his or her client,
- provides advice that is in contradiction to the client’s best interests,
- fails to know or apply the law,
- neglects to file the appropriate court documents.
Not all mistakes made by attorneys constitute legal malpractice. Additionally, simply because a case receives a poor result, does not mean legal malpractice has occurred. Furthermore, legal malpractice does not occur when an attorney behaves practically, as other sensible and capable attorneys in the same legal field would. If you think legal malpractice has taken place, the legal malpractice litigation experts at Loftus & Eisenberg can help.
In order to prevail in a legal malpractice claim, various elements are required. These include:
- an attorney client relationship,
- a breach of the standard of care required for attorneys under the same or similar circumstances,
- proximate causation that the client suffered loss or injury due to the attorney’s neglect,
- financial damage due to the attorney’s negligence.
If any of these four elements doesn’t occur, the client wouldn’t have a claim for legal malpractice. An example would be if an attorney advised a client in a criminal case to plead guilty, but that client decided to not follow counsel and plead not guilty and was in the end found to be not guilty, this would probably not be a case for legal malpractice. An additional instance would be if an attorney neglected to appear at a court-mandated hearing that was rescheduled to an alternate date, the client more than likely does not have any basis for a legal malpractice case as no injury was caused by the attorney’s actions.
Often where legal malpractice claims arise is when lawyers neglect to meet crucial filing or appearing deadlines or fail to act within other statute of limitations. Breaking the attorney client confidentiality agreement, mishandling of client finances, disregarding judicious demands, and partaking in any type of unjust or fraudulent dealing are also common legal malpractice claims.
If one has had a prior arrangement with a lawyer which involved any of these dealings or caused a financial injury, he or she may have a legal malpractice claim with a possibility to recover any fiscal damages. Within Illinois and across the United States, there are Rules of Professional Conduct that attorneys must abide by in order to guarantee that only the highest standards of the practice of law set forth by the legal system and expected by clients are consistently met. These regulations require attorneys act ethically across numerous matters including but not limited to, truthfulness, confidentiality, and overall competence. Violations of these standards is wholly unacceptable and may constitute legal malpractice.
We’ve had numerous successes litigating legal malpractice claims in Wisconsin including:
- receiving what was believed to be (confidential) the largest legal malpractice settlement in the history of the State of Wisconsin with respect to the mishandling of many patents on behalf of a large Wisconsin tech company.
- recovering significant compensation for a Rock County man who was wrongfully imprisoned for four months because his Janesville attorney improperly completed a form and then failed to respond to calls seeking to correct the error. In addition to a monetary recovery we assisted the client in his Office of Lawyer Regulation (“”OLR”) complaint that resulted in the negligent attorney being censured.
The business litigation lawyers at Loftus & Eisenberg are devoted to ensuring that these Rules of Professional Conduct are adhered to by those in the legal profession and any lawyers who fail to meet what we see as the minimal requirements within our duties as lawyers, are held responsible for their actions or lack of action.
Legal malpractice lawsuit results can vary widely from potentially getting the assets a client would have received if the malpractice breach of duty had not occurred or potentially recovering subsequently paid legal fees to the attorney who breached. Recently, the legal malpractice lawyers at Loftus & Eisenberg settled a case for a client who lost her life savings due to her real estate lawyer mismanaging his email account which was in turn compromised through a phishing attack, where we were able to recover 100% of her losses.
If you think you have been an object of legal malpractice, the legal malpractice attorneys at Loftus & Eisenberg can help. Contact us today to discuss your options.