New York Legal Malpractice
Our firm takes legal malpractice personally.
Legal malpractice not only hurts you, but it hurts our entire profession. The bad acts of one lawyer harm the reputation of the whole legal community. As a result, we take defending you and defending our profession very seriously.
Every licensed attorney has sworn to uphold high professional ethical standards. Every state, including New York, has published Rules of Professional Conduct that lawyers must uphold. When an attorney fails to uphold those standards, they have broken a promise to you, the client, and to the profession. Furthermore, lawyers have a responsibility to manage their staff. If a negligence or incompetence by lawyer’s staff member has hurt your case, that is also legal malpractice and the supervising lawyer can be held responsible.
Lawyers are required to carry malpractice insurance. That policy exists to protect you, the client. As a result, it is usually worth pursuing a claim of malpractice against a lawyer.
There is no excuse for legal malpractice. As attorneys, we will not look the other way. Other professions have attorneys to help regulate them. As attorneys we have to regulate ourselves. We take that responsibility seriously to maintain the integrity of the legal profession.
In order to establish legal practice there are some elements. First, you must have an established attorney-client relationship. You do not necessarily have to have paid an attorney before you have an attorney-client relationship; however, mere consultation may not be enough to establish a relationship. Second, the attorney acted negligently or with intent to harm the client. Third, the lawyer’s negligent or incompetent action caused the plaintiff’s harm. Fourth, but for the attorney’s malpractice, the client would’ve been successful in the underlying case.
Common examples NYC legal malpractice lawyers handle include:
- Failure to meet court deadlines and statute of limitations
- Failure to return phone calls/communicates
- Conflicts of Interest
- Breaching Confidentiality
- General Misconduct
- Failure to understand basic laws and procedures
- Abuse of client trust account (for holding client funds)
It is worth noting that not every mistake or error in judgment amounts to malpractice. Practicing law involves judgment and attorneys are entrusted to make strategic decisions. Even if another lawyer may have taken a different course of action, a lawyer’s poor decision isn’t necessary malpractice. While it’s possible to have multiple correct approaches to a case, there are some methods that are just plain wrong and that constitutes legal malpractice in NYC.
Several remedies are available if the court finds malpractice has occurred. Not only can you get monetary compensation for financial damages, but also malpractice might be grounds to reverse your negatively affected case. We can also file a formal complaint with the State Bar Association. Each state’s Bar Association has its own disciplinary procedures and may punish, suspend, or even disbar the attorney.
We take legal malpractice very seriously. On top of being unfair to the client, malpractice is an offense to our entire profession.