At Slater & Zurz, our legal team takes great pride in representing every one of our clients with the highest level of skill, integrity, and professionalism. Unfortunately, there are times when other attorneys fall short in fulfilling their professional duties. And in some of those cases, the consequences of the attorney’s actions (or inaction) cause substantial harm to the client, in turn, warranting a legal malpractice action.
Not many lawyers take on cases involving legal malpractice. However, our Canton legal malpractice attorneys understand how a negligent attorney can cause unjust harm to his or her client, endangering their legal rights or costing them a substantial sum of money. We are dedicated to upholding the standards of the legal profession and ensuring clients who have fallen victim to legal malpractice receive the justice they deserve. If you suffered substantial losses due to an attorney’s misconduct, contact our Ohio law firm right away and arrange a free consultation to discuss the matter with a seasoned legal malpractice attorney.
Ohio Legal Malpractice Claims
Similar to medical malpractice, legal malpractice occurs when an attorney fails to provide an appropriate standard of professional and ethical conduct and, in doing so, harms his or her client in some way. Our team of skilled attorneys at Slater & Zurz has handled legal malpractice cases that have involved a wide range of situations, including:
- Missed deadlines – As one of the most common causes of legal malpractice (making up about 40% of all cases), missed deadlines generally occur when an attorney fails to file important legal documents on time. When a lawyer misses a deadline, the consequences can be catastrophic. Their client may lose a substantial amount of money, lose their right to pursue legal action, or have their existing case thrown out.
- Conflict of interest – An attorney is legally and ethically obligated to act only in their client’s best interests. When the lawyer puts their interests or those of a third party before their client’s, the client has the right to pursue a legal malpractice action.
- Failure to know or apply the law – Clients expect their attorneys to thoroughly understand the law as it pertains to their case. If the lawyer misunderstands the law, misapplies the law, or doesn’t keep up with changes made to the law, there may be grounds for a legal malpractice suit. Matters involving misapplication of the law account for nearly 15% of all legal malpractice cases.
- Misuse of finances – In some cases, clients are required to pay a retainer fee to their attorney. That attorney is required to place this fee into a trust account. When they put it into their own account or use these funds for unintended purposes, it can constitute legal malpractice.
- Acting without their client’s consent – An attorney is hired to represent their clients in their legal matters. However, this does not mean they can make decisions on behalf of their clients. A lawyer must always have their client’s consent before taking any legal action, including accepting a settlement offer.
- Failure to follow client instructions – As with acting without a client’s consent, lawyers may also be accused of legal malpractice when they refuse to follow their client’s instructions. If they feel it is not in their client’s best interests, they may express their concerns to their client. However, they cannot refuse to carry out their client’s wishes.
- Inadequate investigation – When they take on a case, an attorney assumes the responsibility to thoroughly and adequately investigate the elements of that case. This process is commonly referred to as “discovery.” When an attorney fails to perform a thorough investigation and doesn’t discover facts that are pertinent to the case, they could be held legally liable.
- Intentional wrongdoing – Approximately 10% of legal malpractice cases involve intentional wrongful acts committed by the attorney. They include slander, libel, fraud, abuse of process, and civil rights violations.
You Can Place Your Trust in Our Firm
We understand that as a victim of legal malpractice, you may have doubts and reservations about working with another attorney. However, our attorneys have dedicated their careers to providing our clients with nothing less than the highest level of ethical and professional legal representation. We do everything within our power to ensure our clients receive the justice they deserve and the compensation they are entitled to. We have earned the reputation as one of Ohio’s premier law firms because we have the experience, resources, and tenacity to advocate on behalf of our client’s best interests.
Investigating Your Legal Malpractice Claim
Legal malpractice cases require an extensive investigation into the attorney’s conduct as it relates to the error in question. Our expert legal team understands how to gather the evidence needed to support a valid legal malpractice claim. Depending on the nature of the malpractice, evidence can include:
- Attorney-client agreements
- Court records
- Case records
- All forms of communication between the lawyer and their client
- The testimony of legal experts
Legal malpractice cases can be challenging. However, with our experience and reputation, you can rest assured your case is in good hands. We fully understand the law as it applies to legal and professional malpractice and will meticulously build a compelling argument accompanied by an abundance of solid evidence to put us in the strongest position for a successful outcome. If negotiations don’t result in a favorable resolution, our experienced trial attorneys will be more than prepared to take your case to court and advocate aggressively on your behalf. With so much on the line, you need an Ohio legal malpractice law firm that will work diligently to right the wrong you experienced and get you the financial compensation you deserve.
To bring a successful legal malpractice claim in Ohio, you will need to prove the following elements:
- An attorney-client relationship existed, meaning your lawyer represented you in a legal matter, gave you legal advice, or provided you with legal services.
- Your lawyer failed to provide you with an acceptable standard of care through negligence or carelessness.
- As a result of their breach of duty, you suffered financial loss or other harm.
Experienced Legal Malpractice Attorneys in Canton
Legal malpractice may be caused by unintentional errors, careless and highly avoidable mistakes, intentional unethical acts, or serious breaches of fiduciary duty. Whether the action appears to be minor or severe, legal malpractice can result in dire consequences.
If you feel you or your business has suffered financial losses or other harm as a result of your attorney’s negligent behavior, contact the experienced Canton legal malpractice lawyers at Slater & Zurz. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your concerns and determine whether your previous attorney’s actions or inaction constitute legal or professional malpractice. If so, we will advise you of your options and identify the best course of action to pursue full compensation for your losses. You can reach our Canton law firm anytime, day or night, by calling 888.534.4850 or contacting us online.