A lawyer is not god or above the reach of the law. Most countries including the US have laws that declare that lawyers are accountable for the actions they take and as a professional every lawyer must behave professionally, responsibly, and ethically.
Often the lawyer you hire may not be ethical or squeaky clean, in this case you can protect yourself from legal malpractices by suing your lawyer. Before you file a suit you need to know that you are well within your rights to sue your lawyer.
Lawyers can be sued for malpractice, misrepresentation, inappropriate billing, negligence, breach of fiduciary duties, and breach of contract among many other instances.
To sue a lawyer you need to establish clearly that the lawyer had wronged you. The court needs to know in no uncertain terms that the lawyer let you down on a case you would have otherwise won. Suing a lawyer has to be done quickly, find out from your state bar association or court what the time limit is.
Suing a lawyer is expensive so before you take the final step you should try: meeting your lawyer and laying the cards on the table, try and solve matters; complaint to the local Bar Association; or seek arbitration to resolve the dispute. If nothing works and you are confident of the strength of your case go ahead and sue the lawyer.
To effectively sue your lawyer you must:
- Keep immaculate records of your case, contract with him, and all meetings, phone calls, and so on. The documentation must be airtight.
- Prove beyond doubt how much the case has cost you in terms of legal fees and other expenses.
- Establish clearly that the lawyer did not act properly, dereliction of duty.
- Prove breach of duty and negligence.
- Have proof that the lawyer's lack of interest and misrepresentation hurt you financially.
- Have documentation showing how the case proceeded and where the lawyer slipped.
- Keep documentations of unreturned calls, cancelled meetings, and non-appearance at hearings.
- Show that the lawyer let your case gather dust while he focused on other clients in spite of your many reminders or urgings. That for the lawyer your case held no commitment or interest.
- Establish that after agreeing to handle your case personally the lawyer left the case work to an assistant or junior.
- Have proof that the lawyer has misappropriated your funds, over billed you, or settled the case on your behalf with vested interest in the opponent.
Malpractice and law are related and sadly many lawyers forget the wows they took and practice law that is unethical and unlawful Every citizen has the right to justice and so when you have enough evidence to sue the lawyer you must first find a lawyer who will agree to file a suit against your lawyer. Always take a second opinion from a lawyer who is unknown to your lawyer and unrelated to the case that you are fighting. Suing a lawyer means high expenses as even lawyers who handle cases of suing errant lawyers charge exorbitant fees.
Read up extensively on suing a lawyer and refer to different cases to determine how successful you are likely to be. Weigh the pros and cons before you take a final decision.