What is legal malpractice?

All attorneys have a duty of care to their clients, and owe their clients duties of the highest loyalty. An attorney’s conduct in representing a client must meet a recognized standard of care in the legal community in which the attorney practices law. Failure of an attorney to meet the standard of care is negligence. If the negligence of an attorney causes actual harm or damage to a client, there may be an actionable claim for legal malpractice against the attorney. If an attorney violates his/her duties of loyalty, confidentiality, or competence to a client, and causes damage to the client by this violation, there may be a claim by the client against the attorney for breach of fiduciary duty, in addition to a negligence claim.

How do I know if I have a case for legal malpractice?

This is a very complex question that can only be evaluated by an attorney who is familiar with legal malpractice law. If you are being represented by an attorney who advises you that you may have a claim for malpractice against a former attorney, you should contact Wolfe Legal Group, PC or another firm that specializes in legal malpractice law, immediately. You may also give your current attorney permission to contact our firm on your behalf so that we may better evaluate your situation.

I have been convicted of a felony because my criminal defense attorney did a bad job; can I sue him/her for malpractice?

In California, the law does not permit anyone who has been convicted of a felony to sue their attorney for malpractice unless and until the client has first proved their factual innocence of the felony charges. Wolfe Legal Group, PC does not undertake representation of persons convicted of felonies for purposes of determining factual innocence.

Who can sue an attorney?

Only a person or company who was actually represented by the attorney may sue the attorney for legal malpractice. There is no right to sue someone else’s attorney for legal malpractice. However, anyone who feels that any attorney has acted in an unethical or illegal manner, may report the attorney to the State Bar for a disciplinary investigation.

What is the statute of limitations on attorney malpractice?

The statute of limitations depends upon the facts of each particular case. Generally, the law in California requires any suit for legal malpractice against an attorney or law firm to be filed within one year. The question of “one year from what occurrence?” is a determination that should be made by an attorney, specifically an attorney or firm who specializes in legal malpractice law, such as Wolfe Legal Group, PC. If you think you may have a claim, it is best to consult with a specialist in legal malpractice law as soon as possible, so that your opportunity to hold an attorney responsible for losses he/she caused you is not lost.

Will you take my case on a contingency/percentage fee basis?

Generally, Wolfe Legal Group, PC does not represent clients on a contingency fee (percentage of the gross recovery) basis. Depending upon the dollar amount of damages, the firm may discuss a part-hourly/part-contingency fee arrangement, with the client paying all out-of-pocket costs.

Can you tell me if my attorney is giving me the right advice in my ongoing litigation?

Our firm does not become involved in providing advice to clients who are actively being represented by other attorneys for purposes of determining whether or not the client is receiving proper advice. It is best to consult another attorney in the area of law in which the client is being currently represented for purposes of obtaining a second opinion.

My new attorney told me that my last attorney committed malpractice. What can I do?

You can contact our firm and complete the “Contact us” form in as much detail as possible. Before we can consult with you, we have to make sure that we do not have any conflict of interest in reviewing your possible claims against a particular attorney. As an alternative, you may provide your new attorney with our contact information and give him/her permission to contact us to discuss the possible malpractice claims on your behalf. It is most important to make this contact with our firm as soon as possible, in order to eliminate the possibility of missing the statute of limitations within which to hold your negligent attorney accountable for your losses.

Disclaimer: The remarks made in the FAQs are not intended as legal advice, and do not create an attorney-client relationship between Wolfe Legal Group, PC and persons visiting the website. These comments are for general informational purposes only, and only in accordance with the laws of the State of California. Any person who thinks he/she may have a claim against an attorney for malpractice should consult directly with an attorney regarding their particular claims immediately or as soon as possible.