What is the purpose of legal malpractice?

Like medical malpractice, legal malpractice occurs when a lawyer doesn't do what they're supposed to do and their mistake hurts their client. Lawyers have a duty to follow certain standards of ethical and professional conduct. When they don't follow those standards, they can be sued for legal negligence. Legal negligence occurs when a lawyer causes harm to a client due to some type of negligence, breach of duty, or breach of contract.

In any legal matter, lawyers are expected to act and perform their obligations with a certain level of care. If an attorney fails to act competently, that person may be liable for legal negligence. The following are the most common malpractice claims and why they sometimes occur. While it's true that not every mistake a lawyer makes can be considered grounds for legal malpractice actions, it's also true that many very common professional errors affecting almost every area of the law regularly lead to professional liability claims.

If the alleged malpractice occurred in litigation, the legal malpractice case may result in a trial within a trial that delves into the facts of the case for which the client originally hired the lawyer. That's why all lawyers and law firms must have legal malpractice insurance, to protect themselves from the inevitable scenario of having to cover the costs related to a lawsuit filed against the lawyer or law firm. Iowa and Kansas have held that proof of innocence is not a separate element of a legal malpractice lawsuit against a criminal defense lawyer, but rather it is a factor that a jury may consider when applying standard elements of legal malpractice. Just like in a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must show that the legal professional acted negligently to prove legal negligence and that you deserve compensation.

If the lawyer doesn't apply a law properly, misinterprets it, or doesn't keep up with changes that have been made to laws within their jurisdiction, a lawsuit for legal malpractice could be on the way. Lawsuits for legal malpractice most often occur when a professional decision or action taken by an attorney results in losses for their clients, who will then seek to recover these losses through a legal malpractice action.

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