A lawyer is required to be competent and diligent in the handling of the legal matters that the lawyer has agreed to perform. If an attorney fails to competent and diligent and, as a result, harms the client or the client’s legal interests, then the attorney is responsible for the harm.
According to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission as of 2012 there were approximately 90,000 attorneys licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois. (See, http://www.iardc.org/annualreport2012.pdf) Though it may be disputed, attorneys are human and so are prone to making mistakes and errors in judgment. However, when those mistakes are a product of an attorney’s negligence – the failure to act as a reasonably prudent attorney should act under the circumstances – the law allows the client to bring a claim against the attorney and recover compensation for any damages caused by the attorney’s negligence.
An attorney’s breach of duty can take many forms, including mishandling of the client’s case (failing to file documents timely, missing court dates, settling cases without the client’s consent), breaching the attorney-client agreement, engaging in a conflict of interest, fraudulent or other improper billing practices and insufficient research and preparation. In our years of prosecuting legal malpractice we have seen negligence committed by all sorts of attorneys who practice in a variety of concentrations, including personal injury litigation, estate planning, real estate law, divorce/family law, and commercial and contract disputes.
Neff Law Group also defends clients who have been sued or threatened with a lawsuit by their former attorneys. It is not uncommon for clients to balk at paying an invoice they have received from a lawyer that the client believes either did not do the work for which they have billed the client or where the lawyer spent an unreasonable amount of time on a given task or performed work that was not necessary or authorized by the client.
Attorneys owe their clients the highest duty – a fiduciary duty. The relationship of attorney and client is one of trust, loyalty and confidence. If you have suffered harm due to an attorneys’ negligence or other misconduct we may be able to help. Just call for a free consultation.