When we hear the word “malpractice”, we frequently think of doctors. But, at Robinson Mahoney, we know that lawyers can make mistakes too. As Fairfield Legal Malpractice Lawyers, we represent people who are harmed when their lawyer makes a mistake. However, not every mistake by a lawyer is actionable. To bring a legal malpractice claim the lawyer must have failed to represent the client in a way that a reasonable, reputable member of the profession would have done.
The most common reason that we as Fairfield County Legal Malpractice Lawyers see to bring a legal malpractice claim is because the lawyer failed to bring a lawsuit within the statute of limitations. There is a limited amount of time for a person to bring a lawsuit which is known as the statute of limitation. The amount of time one has to bring the lawsuit varies depending on the type of claim it is. Sometimes the lawyer does not identify the correct statute of limitation. Other times, the lawyer does identify the correct time limit but simply fails to file the suit correctly. This can give rise to a claim for legal malpractice as the client has lost the ability to pursue the action.
However, there are other reasons that we as Fairfield Legal Malpractice Lawyers see for bringing a claim. For example, the court imposes certain deadlines for moving your case forward. If the lawyer fails to do that, the Connecticut Rules of Practice allow the court to dismiss the case for dormancy. Or, if the lawyer does not respond to discovery requests from the other side, the court can enter judgment in favor of the other side. We have even seen situations where the lawyer fails to appear in court for a scheduled hearing and the court dismisses the case. If you find yourself in one of these situations you should consider consulting with a Fairfield County Legal Malpractice Lawyer.
Simply losing a case does not rise to the level of legal malpractice. The question is – did you lose the case because your lawyer failed to live up to the standard of how other lawyers would have performed under similar circumstances and that is the reason for the loss.
Earlier we talked about statutes of limitation. Every type of lawsuit has a statute of limitations which applies to it, including claims for legal malpractice. In Connecticut, a person has three years from when the claim arose to file a suit for legal malpractice. There may be arguments to be made to extend that time if the lawyer who made the error continued to represent you after the error was made.
However, you do not want to want to wait until the statute of limitations is about to expire before contacting a Fairfield Legal Malpractice Lawyer. Legal malpractice lawsuits frequently require the person bringing the case to retain an attorney to serve as their “expert witness”. The expert witness reviews the work performed by your former attorney and offers testimony to the jury to explain the standard of care that your attorney should have followed. The expert also explains how the failure to follow that standard of care caused you to be damaged. It is important to retain an expert witness who testifies in a way that the jury can understand.
Law, like medicine, is not an exact science. There are no guaranteed outcomes when you retain an attorney. At Robinson Mahoney we understand that. However, we do expect attorneys to perform consistently with the Connecticut Rules of Professional Conduct. Those Rules, among other things, require lawyers to represent their clients competently and with diligence.
Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your claim for legal malpractice. At Robinson Mahoney we are here to answer your questions and return your phone calls.