Legal malpractice cases arise when the client or former client of a law firm alleges that the lawyer engaged in wrongful behavior, injuring the client. Typically, the wrongful behavior amounts to inadvertent negligence. However, malpractice cases also arise when the attorney's behavior is intentionally wrongful or amounts to a breach of the standard of conduct set forth in Missouri Rule 4 (The Rules of Professional Conduct).
Insurance and Settlements
The vast majority of legal malpractice cases settle before proceeding to trial. Attorneys and law firms usually carry a malpractice policy providing insurance coverage for negligent acts by the lawyers. And most attorney are able to recognize when they make mistakes. Even if the particular attorney no longer practices law, his or her former insurance company could still have an obligation to compensate the victim for the attorney's wrongful behavior.
Because the practice of law, like any other profession, depends upon cooperation and and a collegial atmosphere among its members, clients often have difficulty finding attorneys willing to "take on" other attorneys. When the malpractice occurs in a town with only a small number of attorneys, the client should consider consulting an attorney in a different city. The purpose of any attorney malpractice claim is simply to recover money on behalf of the former client. If you feel you have been the victim of an attorney's wrongful or negligent behavior, you should call our office your earliest opportunity.
Examples of Legal Malpractice
These cases may arise when an attorney fails to correctly interpret a statute, fails to adhere to Rules of Professional Conduct, mismanages money belonging to a client, discloses confidential client information, represents a client despite a conflict of interest, overcharges, submits fabricated evidence or testimony, encourages false testimony, practices law without a current bar license, or otherwise provides inadequate legal advice. In every instance the client must have sustained an ascertainable loss, even if the loss is small in terms of monetary measurements.
If you have a question relating to a possible or pending legal malpractice case, please send a direct message or call our office at (314) 725-4400. For more information on some of our recent cases, please visit our news page. We also have an FAQ relating to class action issues.