When Your Lawyer Fails You: 5 Common Tennessee Legal Malpractice Claims
You hire a lawyer to represent you in good faith. You expect that he or she will act exclusively in your best interests and that the case will be handled professionally and with skill. Unfortunately this does not always happen – and when it doesn’t – you may find yourself wondering what went wrong. Are you a victim of Tennessee legal malpractice?
What, exactly, constitutes legal malpractice?
Here are some of the most common Tennessee legal malpractice claims and a brief explanation of each:
- Missed Deadlines: Cases are thrown out of court all the time because of missed deadlines and often this can make it impossible to ever file again. Examples of this type of malpractice include filing after statute of limitations has passed, failure to meet court set deadlines, filing in the wrong court or wrong state, and failure to decline the case in time for you to seek out another attorney. It is also considered malpractice when an attorney waits too long to decline or withdraw from you case, making it impossible to file again.
- Incompetence: An attorney should never take a case that he/she can’t handle with competence. The last thing you need is a lawyer that has little to no experience in your type of case and, as a result, is learning as he/she goes. Your lawyer should have an in-depth knowledge of the laws that pertain to your case and do careful research in preparing it.
- Mistakes: While everyone makes them and not every mistake a lawyer makes is grounds for malpractice, when yours has made a serious error in judgment that a competent attorney would not have made, you may have a claim for legal malpractice. In addition, he or she should monitor all legal work done by assistants and catch any errors they might make.
- Conflict of Interest: It is understood that when you hire an attorney to work for you, that he/she will give you undivided attention and be loyal to you. Sometimes factors like outside business interests, the needs of other clients, or even conflicts that arise between you and your lawyer can botch your case. You have every right to expect that your attorney will deal effectively with any conflict of interest that arises.
- Failure to Communicate: Poor communication between attorney and client can easily happen. In general, your attorney should keep you informed about the status of your case, reply promptly to your questions and requests, explain your case clearly enough that you can make informed decisions, tell you the truth at all times and inform you of settlement offers.
While you may think you have a great case, keep in mind that proving Tennessee legal malpractice is difficult. To pursue a claim, you should find an ethical, knowledgeable Tennessee legal malpractice attorney to represent you.
At Bailey & Greer, you will find a tradition of excellence. We pride ourselves on the skill, knowledge, compassion and ethical treatment of every case we take. Contact us today toll free at 901-680-9777 to set up a free consultation.
Since graduating magna cum laude in 2005 from the University of Memphis School of Law, Thomas has helped make a difference in the lives of victims of serious personal injury, wrongful death, and professional negligence. Thomas has extensive trial experience in both state and federal court. Among other victories in the courtroom, Thomas obtained several impressive jury verdicts and settlements
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