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San Diego Legal Malpractice Lawyers

The relationship between a lawyer and a client is a fiduciary relationship, and one requiring a high degree of trust. Legal malpractice is the failure of an attorney to render competent professional services to a client. If the client is damaged as a result of this failure, the client may have a claim against the lawyer for legal malpractice.

There are three primary theories of liability in legal malpractice cases:

  • Negligence: An attorney owes his/her clients a duty to perform all work within the standard of care expected of a reasonable attorney in the same or a similar situation. If an attorney purports to be an expert in an area of law, that lawyer is held to the standard of care of an ordinary expert in that field.
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty: Attorneys are ethically and legally obligated to act in the best interests of their clients. When an attorney puts his or her interests or those of a third party before those of a client, that lawyer may be breaching this fiduciary duty to the client.
  • Breach of Contract: Retainer agreements typically define the relationship between lawyers and clients. These agreements, like all contracts, typically outline the roles, expectations, and obligations of each party. A breach of contract may occur when an attorney fails to uphold a retainer agreement.

It is important to note that simply losing a case does not necessarily constitute legal malpractice. In order for an attorney to be liable for malpractice, at least three conditions must have occurred:

  • An attorney-client relationship existed between the parties;
  • The attorney breached a duty or obligation to the client; and
  • The attorney caused damage to the client.

Legal Help with Legal Malpractice Claims

If you feel that you or a loved one has been the victim of legal malpractice, contact the experienced trial lawyers at Fitzgerald Knaier LLP today. Statutes of limitations could apply to any legal malpractice claims, so act now to ensure that your legal rights are not lost. We offer a free, no obligation consultation to assess your case. Contact us today by telephone or using the form on this website.