Legal Malpractice Information

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Frequently Asked Questions about Legal Malpractice

Q: How do I know if what my lawyer did was legal malpractice?

A: The laws on legal malpractice typically demand that the lawyer's action (or inaction) was negligent and negatively affected the outcome of your case — for instance, causing you to lose a lawsuit that you otherwise would have won. This can be difficult to prove. Speaking with a different attorney may help you assess whether you have a strong case for legal malpractice.

Q: Why are filing deadlines so important?

A: The deadlines for filing papers with the court are important because there are time limits on when you can bring a lawsuit against someone who has violated your rights. For instance, a state may say that a person who has been injured because of another's negligence has only two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. After two years, the injured person no longer has that option. If you bring your case to a lawyer in a timely fashion but the lawyer fails to file the papers in time, you could lose your chance to take legal action.

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Attorneys are required to comply with the rules of civil litigation and the rules in place in a particular court, when dealing with the courts, other attorneys, and third parties. If your attorney fails to comply with these rules, and your legal rights are injured as a result, you may have a viable legal malpractice claim.

Legal Malpractice - An Overview

A variety of major life events can call for the assistance of a lawyer: adoption, divorce, serious accidents, business transactions and estate planning, to name a few. In most cases, the lawyer's help makes the process move more smoothly and provides confidence in the outcome. Sometimes, however, the lawyer fails to follow through or makes a serious error in conducting the case. When this leads to a poor outcome, the client may have a claim against the lawyer for legal malpractice. If you believe that your lawyer committed malpractice, contact a new lawyer to find out what your legal remedies are.

A lawsuit for legal malpractice can be complex. In most cases, the plaintiff needs to show:

  • The plaintiff and the defendant (the original attorney) shared an attorney-client relationship
  • The defendant acted (or failed to act) in violation of a duty owed to the client
  • The client would have met with greater success if the defendant had not violated the duty to the client
  • The defendant's action (or inaction) is responsible for the injury to the client; the injury can include losing the case or suffering financially in a business transaction
  • If the client's case had succeeded, the client would have been able to collect any monetary judgment or award

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Understanding Lawsuits

When you put your future in the hands of an attorney, you want to feel secure in your decision. Most of the time, the process works as it should. Sometimes, however, the attorney is negligent, causing damage to the case. If you suffered serious consequences because of your attorney's negligence, you may have a claim for legal malpractice. To understand what went wrong in the representation, it can help to understand the steps involved in a civil lawsuit. This article will give you insight into how a typical lawsuit plays out and how yours may have differed. Contact a lawyer to discuss whether you have a claim for legal malpractice.

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Fee Agreements and Disputes

A common complaint from the clients of attorneys is that they never know what to expect when they receive a bill for legal services. The bills may seem unreasonably high or difficult to decipher. Most of these clients aren't sure of their options when they disagree with the billing process. If you feel that you have a valid dispute over legal fees, consult with a lawyer to explore your remedies.

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Legal Malpractice in Criminal Defense Cases

If you (or a loved one) have been convicted of a crime, there may be certain things you wish the defense attorney had done differently. This is natural. But if the attorney's actions (or inaction) prevented you from winning the case, you may have a claim for legal malpractice. Consult a new attorney to discuss your case.

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Common Bases of Malpractice Claims

A lawyer cannot win every case. Sometimes, the facts or the law are just not in the lawyer's favor. Other times, however, something else may have gone wrong. Occasionally a lawyer makes an error that seriously damages the case. If you believe that your lawyer committed legal malpractice, consult an attorney to learn what steps you may take.

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Greshin, Ziegler & Amicizia, P.C.
Attorneys At Law
P.O. Box 829
199 East Main Street
Smithtown, NY 11787
Phone: 631.265.2550 - Fax: 631.265.2832

Greshin, Ziegler & Amicizia, P.C., handles serious personal injury, legal malpractice, medical malpractice, dental malpractice, and other professional malpractice cases for clients throughout Long Island including Suffolk County, Nassau County, and the towns of Smithtown, Riverhead, Islip, Bay Shore, Brentwood, Hauppauge, Kings Park, Stony Brook, Huntington, Hicksville, Levittown, Roslyn Heights, Mineola, Garden City and Westbury.