My lawyer didn’t show up to court for me, Can I Sue My Lawyer for Not Showing Up to Court? The Steps You will need to Filing a Lawsuit against your lawyer.
If you have ever been in such a situation before, you would know how depressing this is and how painful it can be. When it comes to a case in court, a lawyer is the mouthpiece of both the prosecutor and the defendant.
They practically do everything and the quality of the lawyer most times determines the result of any case, this is to show you the importance of a lawyer in the courtroom.
The above question is what we will be addressing today, I know some of us have asked themselves this question whenever they are being disappointed by their lawyer.
But I will be honest with you, there is no straight forward answer to this question. Things of the courtroom are quite complicated and every action is guided by the rule of law.
The ability to be able to sue your lawyer for not showing up to court for you depends on a lot of factors.
For a lawyer to decide not to show up for case is a sign of legal malpractice and this can serve as a foundation to begin to sue such a lawyer. But to do so, certain terms and conditions need to be met to achieve success in this journey. F
or instance, if a lawyer has a genuine reason for not showing up to court at the proposed time then suing him would be a very big mistake.
You need to crosscheck and analyze every bit of information to ensure you are on the right track.
In the world of the courtroom, certain processes and steps are to be followed when something is about to be done.
The below are legal malpractices of a lawyer that offers the client an opportunity to be able to sue the lawyer if he or she is guilty of committing such offense. They are;
- Negligence is a type of malpractice. For you to sue a lawyer for malpractice, you need to be able to show that the lawyer missed a deadline and did not take proper care of your case. Also if he or she didn’t obey the court orders, made sloppy mistakes that were not intentional, filed wrong papers and so on. A situation whereby a lawyer makes a mistake that a normal lawyer would not do is known as negligence in law.
- A breach of duty is another platform that enables you to sue a lawyer. Such a situation most likely occurs when a lawyer does the following; lying to you, defying his or her responsibilities to you by ending the case without your permission, abandoning your case or mishandling your funds which you provided for the court costs and so on. When any of this happens, you can sue your lawyer.
- A breach of contract is another reason a client can use to sue his or her lawyer for malpractice. When you and your lawyer sign an agreement in a contract when he or she agreed to do something but failed to do so, you can sue such lawyer.
One of the above-listed events must occur for you to be able to sue your lawyer legally. Even when you sue the lawyer, in order for you to win, you must prove that he or she was supposed to do something (like appear in court for your case) and the person didn’t do it or did it wrongly and in the process of doing so the case was lost and you lost some money.
Only when this happens that you might have an upper hand in winning the case against your lawyer.
In general, if you are in a situation whereby your case is called as part of a docket call (when 5-20 cases are being set by the court for a period of time in order to deal with all at once) and it gets to your turn but your lawyer is yet to show, the next move of the court is to take your case to the back of the line. This will help solve the problem of your lawyer being held in court security lines or traffic.
Also in a situation whereby you are the only one who has a case that day, some judges might decide to wait for about 10-15 minutes before carrying on but others might not. If your courtesy delay is up or you get called the second time, then all hope is lost.
When you are in a non-criminal case and your lawyer does not show up to court, the first thing you need to do is to ask the court for a continuance (to ask that your hearing will be shifted to a later time or date).
Many judges are likely to grant the continuance provided your lawyer did not appear or would give you some time to make calls and check what went wrong. Some judges might even take it upon themselves to call the late lawyer which is not a good position any lawyer wants to be in, trust me.
But if in any way, you are forced to defend yourself, you should make it clear to the court that you will be going on without counsel only because the court has asked you to do so. And after doing this, your next call should be to your lawyer to figure out what happened and see if something can be done then after that, you should call your state bar association.
So as you can see, you can sue your lawyer for not showing up to court if you are truly sure that he or she abandoned the case or decided not to appear intentionally.
But if not, you need to follow the rules of the court and find a solution to the problem.
Steps to Filing a Lawsuit against your lawyer
- Fire your lawyer
- Acquire the services of another lawyer
- Ask yourself if it is worth the headache
- Be ready to spend some amount of money
- Save every document you obtain
- Establish proof and expose lies