Whether or not your legal case went the way you wanted it to, you may reflect on the situation and feel like your attorney did not do his or her job properly. You may wonder if you have a legal malpractice situation.
The American Bar Association cautions that mistakes can and do happen in the legal field, but not every mistake constitutes malpractice. You should carefully assess your situation to see if you do have a valid case.
The first thing to consider about your situation is if you suffered due to the actions of your lawyer. If you did not have any damages, then there is no case regardless of any other factors. Also, the damage you suffer must be significant. For example, you must lose a lot of money or lose your freedom to constitute a significant loss. You must have damages so that the court has some grounds upon which to award you should you win your case.
To have a legal malpractice case, there has to be negligence present. Negligence is more than a mistake. It is a break from regular standards or an oversight that does not make sense if the attorney was acting according to legal standards. For example, if your attorney missed a deadline, that is generally negligence because it is his or her legal responsibility to meet deadlines.
Negligence may occur due to many things, such as inexperience, distraction, lack of care or conflict of interest. The negligent action should be something that your attorney did that another attorney would not have done. Essentially, it deviated from the typical actions.