Legal Malpractice Attorneys
For over a decade, Garcia Hong Law has represented both lawyers and law firms when they have been sued for legal malpractice. This gives our firm a unique perspective in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of a legal malpractice claim. We can often resolve these types of claims without emotional and expensive litigation.
PROVING LEGAL MALPRACTICE
To prove legal malpractice (also called lawyer professional liability or attorney negligence) against an attorney, the former client must prove his attorney’s conduct fell below the standard of care that a reasonably careful attorney would have used in similar circumstances. The former client must also prove that he would have obtained a better outcome or result if his attorney had acted as a reasonably careful attorney.
Legal malpractice cases arise from numerous circumstances including:
- Blowing a statute of limitations on a potential claim for a client or missing other important deadlines that cause harm to a client’s case;
- Failing to competently represent a client, including taking matters outside an attorney’s expertise, failing to perform necessary discovery, and failing to advise on settlement offers; or
- Having a conflict of interest with current or prior clients without properly obtaining waivers.
Proving these elements of a legal malpractice claim are often complicated and require expert opinions on whether the attorney was negligent. It also requires skilled attorneys who are adept at learning the underlying case and other practice areas including estate planning and probate law, personal injury, contracts, shareholder disputes, and conflicts of interest. With more than ten years of experience understanding complex issues regarding causation, the “case-within-the-case,” and the changing landscape of legal ethics, Garcia Hong Law has the expertise to review the facts and voluminous evidence in the underlying case, evaluate risks, and develop a litigation strategy.
NUANCES WITH THE ONE-YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
There is a tight window to bring a legal malpractice claim against an attorney. For a legal malpractice claim, the former client generally has one year to bring his claim after he discovers, or should have discovered, his attorney’s misconduct under Code of Civil Procedure section 340.6. There are nuances to this deadline related to discovery, whether there is continuous representation and a relation between the attorney and client, and when a client sustains actual injury. Garcia Hong Law understands these nuances and the published case law on these issues.
CONSULTING WITH IN-HOUSE AND OUTSIDE COUNSEL
Garcia Hong Law counsels lawyers and law firms about potential legal malpractice litigation. If you are the attorney for a client who you think may have legal malpractice claims, we may be able to consult with you.