When your lawyer fails to act prudently, resulting in harm to the client, the client may have a cause of action against the lawyer for professional negligence. Generally, those suits must be brought within two years of the malpractice.
Often, the client is unaware of the negligent act for some period of time, or the litigation in which the negligence occurred must be completed to learn whether there has been any damage sustained. In those instances, limitations is usually tolled. However, the rules can be complex and legal guidance is required.
Moreover, in a legal malpractice lawsuit, the client must ordinarily prove “the case within the case.” In other words, the client must prove not only that the lawyer was negligent, but also that the lawyer’s negligence was the reason the case was lost. To do so, the client must prove that, but for the lawyer’s negligence, the underlying case probably would have been won. That can be a challenge.
In general, this type of litigation is very complex, as are the legal issues involved. These types of lawsuits usually represent an expensive, difficult, and uphill battle. Defendants are often well-insured for most of these claims, and the carriers spend large sums to defend their insureds. Accordingly, it is clear that experience in handling complex legal malpractice litigation can be essential to increasing the odds of a deserving plaintiff prevailing at trial.
Mr. Riley has been involved in legal malpractice litigation for many years. One of the cases he defendant was appealed, and was reported. You can read the opinion here. Today, Mr. Riley is considering both plaintiff and defense cases in the legal malpractice field.