Can you sue a lawyer for not doing their job? The answer is “Yes”. While you can, it is better to avoid a bad lawyer who will not do their job.
Finding a good lawyer can help you win a case in a court of law. Whether you are suing or being sued, a competent, attorney with passion and dedication for their work will endeavor to ensure your case end with a favorable outcome.
Even if you lose, he or she will make sure the verdict is not too brutal.
The same cannot be said for a lousy, incompetent or rogue attorney who will take your fees upfront but fail to do his or her job. I get asked this question all too many times: can you sue a lawyer for not doing their job?
Subsequently, I tell them yes. You can file a lawsuit against him or her to get reasonable compensation for that.
If you determine that your attorney did not do his or her job and that cost you in one way or another, you can sue him or her for legal malpractice.
Unfortunately, malpractice suits can be very challenging to file and difficult to win. One reason is that what constitutes the failure by the part of an attorney to do their job can be somewhat relative in as much as it sounds straightforward.
For example, a client who has been handed a jail sentence for willful and premeditated murder might say his or her attorney did not do their job to help him or she freed.
However, the attorney might consider a reduction from first-degree murder to manslaughter a job well done!
As such, it is important to understand what an attorney who failed to do their job really constitutes before filing a lawsuit.
Otherwise, you are going to end up losing a lot of money and wasting much effort on creating a lawsuit that you will not win.
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Circumstances in Which You Would Say Your Attorney Did Not Do their Job and Sue Them Right Away:
- If the attorney failed to handle your legal matter appropriately without a valid reason. Once a contract between you and the attorney has begun, the attorney should start working on your case right away. If he or she decided to put it in the backburner until the last minute simply because he or she was “pursuing other potential clients or personal interests,” do not hesitate to sue him or her when you suffer a judgment loss. It is only under sickness, accident or personal injury circumstances that you may forgive your attorney for not doing their job. Even still, good lawyers have legal assistants to help them in such circumstances.
- If the attorney violated lawyers’ code of ethics, such as representing you in a bankruptcy case while also providing his or her services to an investor negotiating to purchase your business. There are many rogue attorneys out there who could do that without giving it a second thought. Even though, many of them, if not all, do it for the money, it is inappropriate and inexcusable for an attorney to represent both sides in a case despite the obvious conflict of interest is there.
How to Tell an Attorney Who Is Likely to Disappoint You
Knowing how to smell a bogus attorney who will not do their job from a mile away can save you the bitterness you will experience when you lose a court case. Generally, this type of attorney:
- Does not seem to be professional or very serious about his or her work. For instance, he or she organizes meetings with clients in the most unimaginable places like a bar, private residence, etc. He or she does not talk or carry himself or herself like an attorney. By the way, there many such attorneys out there. I have personally encountered two in the past!
- Offers unusually lower rates. It is not surprising that, despite the fact that many attorneys charge an average rate of $150, some attorneys advertise services at rates lower than $50 hourly. The fact that they are three times cheaper than the average lawyer, means they are three times likely to disappoint you by not doing their job. A slight discount of 10 or 20% on the average hourly rate is normal but a significant discount of more than 70% is definitely a red flag.
- Deals with too many complaints from past and existing clients. His or her waiting room is always packed with people wearing long faces simply for one reason–they are disappointed in this professional. Likewise, his or her online reputation is worse. No one has anything positive to say about him or her.
- He or she has been sued before for this kind of malpractice. You can easily find out if an attorney has been disciplined before for not doing their job and honoring their obligations to a client. To do so, just go to the American Bar Association website to lookup your attorney. The website lists every detail about an attorney that a client would find helpful in making a hiring decision. An attorney that has been disciplined before for any malpractice can be a long shot when there are endless attorneys out there with a clean slate!
I hope this article has answered the burning question “Can You Sue a Lawyer for Not Doing Their Job?”
Can you sue a lawyer for not doing their job? The answer is “Yes”. While you can, it is better to avoid a bad lawyer who will not do their job. See Signs of a Bad Attorney: 12 Signs He’s a Legal Liability
Competency legal malpractices can be very difficult to prove in court. That makes these cases extremely difficult to win.
Many people have paid dearly for hiring a bad attorney who did not do their job. Most of them picked their attorneys based on low rates rather than other things.
Avoid the pain and agony of dealing with a lazy attorney who will disappoint you by looking out for the above characteristics of one.