Legal Malpractice in Tennessee: When a Lawyer Fails You
When you hire a Tennessee lawyer to represent you, you assume you will receive expert advice, correct and timely filing of all paperwork, and a favorable outcome. But, when your lawyer fails to do his job, a case can fall apart, leaving you with much less than you had hoped for.
Fortunately, the legal profession can police itself with legal malpractice litigation. When an attorney hired to represent you intentionally or negligently botches your case and causes you injury, legal malpractice has occurred.
How to Prove Legal Malpractice
You have the right to sue your former attorney for damages caused by his or her failure to represent you fully. In order to do this, you will have to prove that four elements existed. You must prove:
- That you and the attorney in question had an attorney-client relationship, which means that your attorney gave you legal advice or promised to.
- That your attorney was negligent in your case. He or she either intended to do you harm or was negligent in handling your legal problem.
- That your attorney’s handling of your case directly caused your injuries.
- That, if your attorney had handled your case correctly, you would have been successful.
Basically, you must prove that your former attorney acted in a manner that no reasonable attorney would.
When Your Attorney Makes Mistakes: Examples of Legal Malpractice
There are many kinds of legal malpractice, which can range from minor negligence to more serious instances of fraudulent behavior. Some of the most common include:
- Failure to meet the statute of limitations for elements of your case.
- Failure to meet deadlines set by the court.
- Failure to communicate with you, including not returning phone calls or emails, not telling you about settlement offers, or lying to you.
- Failure to deal effectively with conflicts of interest.
- Failure to adequately research your case.
- An inadequate knowledge of the laws pertaining to your case.
- Misuse or abuse of your money.
- Withdrawing from your case improperly.
Most legal malpractice cases center on negligence. Negligence can take many forms; but, if your attorney was incompetent and failed to exercise a reasonable standard of care, negligence may have been in play.
If You Decide to Sue Your Lawyer
Most Tennessee legal malpractice cases take place in civil court, and you file a lawsuit. Depending on the charge, the accused attorney may be ordered to pay you monetary damages (restitution). In addition, he or she may face disbarment or even criminal charges.
It is not easy to win a legal malpractice lawsuit. To do so, you need a strong attorney whom you can trust. This new attorney must be knowledgeable in malpractice law and known for his or her high ethical standards.
Bailey & Greer, in Memphis, have all the qualities needed to represent you in a Tennessee legal malpractice suit. We are honest, knowledgeable, and strong courtroom litigators. Call us toll free today at 901.475.7434 to start getting answers to your questions.
Bailey & Greer represents people with legal malpractice claims in Tennessee and Mississippi, including Memphis, Germantown, Bartlett, Cordova, Jackson, Collierville, Arlington, Lakeland, and all of Shelby, Fayette, and Tipton counties. We have also handled cases in Arkansas, Georgia, and Missouri.