Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lawyers: More Then Just a Punch Line

Lawyer jokes, everybody’s heard them, and probably have even told some. The truth is, lawyers often obtain excellent results for their clients. When someone is injured in a car accident and loses the ability to walk, they hire a lawyer to fight for their right to compensation not only for their inability to walk but their inability to work, medical bills they were caused to incur, and pain and suffering. In the emotional, difficult cauldron of a divorce case, clients rely on their lawyer to ensure that their interests and their child’s future are protected.

That said, sometimes the jokes contain a modicum of truth. Like any other profession, the practice of law draws all kinds of people, and sometimes lawyers find themselves in the news headlines for some not so flattering dealings. For example, a case of wine gets accidently delivered to the wrong address (the address happens to be that of a lawyer) and the lawyer refuses to return it to its rightful owner. The lawyer then claims that he ‘gave the wine away’. Or, a lawyer takes a handicapped parking pass from a disabled client so that he can park in spaces closer to the courthouse. Or, a lawyer represents a client in a foreclosure matter and then after the client moves out of the condo, the lawyer moves in, rent free, for a year while stalling the foreclosure proceedings. Believe it or not, these are true stories which have appeared in the media about lawyers.

Everyone – even lawyers – enjoy a good lawyer joke or two. The jokes lose their humor, however, when the client is the one who suffers. If your lawyer has made a mistake that cost you your case, they may be liable for Connecticut legal malpractice, and we can help.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Is Broken Confidentiality Legal Malpractice?

The foundation of a trusting relationship between the attorney and the client is based primarily on the attorney-client privilege. The attorney needs his/her client to be able to speak openly and honestly about the circumstances surrounding the client’s case. In order for the client to feel comfortable doing so, the client must know that they are able to trust their attorney with this confidential information.

Once the client hires an attorney, the attorney-client relationship forms and the client’s information is held in the strictest confidence by the attorney. There is an expectation that the attorney will keep the details of the client’s case confidential, this includes the attorney not exposing any details in person, in writing or over the telephone to persons not directly involved in the case. For example, it is reasonable for the client to assume that the medical records they have released to their attorney will remain confidential and that their attorney will not post them on an internet website.

There are, however, ways in which the attorney-client confidentiality is waived by the client. For example, if the client chooses to bring someone with them to a meeting between the client and the attorney, it is understood that the client is willing to share this information with the other person. In this case, the confidentiality is broken, but there has been no legal malpractice.

If the attorney you hired to handle your case, breached the attorney-client privilege in some way, contact our office to see if you have a legal malpractice claim.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Economy and It’s Effect on Legal Malpractice Cases

Experts are predicting that the current state of the economy will cause an increase in legal malpractice cases. posted an article which laid out a few different reasons for this increase. One of the reasons listed is that lawyers begin practicing in areas of the law that are outside their normal area of practice.

Lawyers are not exempt from feeling the financial strain during a recession. In fact, many lawyers will take on work that they would normally refer to someone with more knowledge and experience in that area. Choosing to handle a file in an area of law that the lawyer does not typically handle can lead to a lot of errors being made, deadlines being missed and eventually may lead to a legal malpractice claim.

More legal malpractice claims are expected to arise in the near future regarding fraud, failed financial agreements, foreclosures and bankruptcy cases. Typically, the experts say that the increase in these legal malpractice cases will show up within a few years following the economic recession. Contact our office to discuss your possible legal malpractice claim.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Conflict of Interests Can Lead to Legal Malpractice

The legal field has become more competitive and aggressive in recent years and with more and more potential clients calling in to discuss cases, it is easy to see how things might fall through the cracks. When taking on new clients, lawyers should be careful ensure that they are not taking on a new client that poses a conflict of interests with either their personal interests or their professional interests.

A good way to avoid running into a problem with a conflict of interests is to set up a system whereby new clients can be cross checked against previous and/or existing clients. If after a search such as this is conducted and a red flag comes up, the lawyer can turn the potential new client away or have the potential new client give their written consent of representation, so long as the representation does not involve a claim by one client against another client.

Lawyers have a duty to represent their clients diligently and when a conflict of interests arises and is not dealt with properly, there is exposure for a legal malpractice claim. If your lawyer failed to disclose a conflict of interests in your case, click here to contact one of our experienced legal malpractice lawyers today.