Legal Malpractice

Supreme-CourtFrom financial consequences to a ruined professional reputation, legal malpractice suits always have serious ramifications. What can engender a legal malpractice suit? Sometimes simply a missed deadline – highlighting the importance of a solid calendaring system as well a means to easily keep track of local rules; this is where a product such as SmartRules.com makes perfect sense.

Insurance broker Ames & Gough recently published a study indicating that legal malpractice insurers experienced an increase in claims for 2012, most especially in claims of more than $50 million.

The term “legal malpractice” is an umbrella term that may include all or one of the following: negligence, breach of contract by an attorney, or breach of fiduciary duty. A key nuance is whether these actions, most especially with regard to breach of contract, caused harm to the client.

Additionally, there is a burden of proving that said actions were in fact negligent and were it “but for” said actions, the outcome would have been in the client’s favor. That being said, while losing a case certainly isn’t immediate grounds for negligence, a lost case due to a carelessly missed deadline for filing a document with the court may very well open the door to a legal malpractice suit. Here again, the importance of having a constantly updated online resource that simplifies the complicated arena of local rules cannot be underestimated.

Overall, legal malpractice cases are often difficult to prove and costly to fund; the grieved party needs to establish that his or her attorney made a mistake or acted outside of the boundaries of what is reasonable.

For more information about local rules and deadlines in your jurisdiction, visit www.smartrules.com.

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