Pittsburgh Legal Malpractice Lawyer
Trusted Lawyer Advocates for Victims of Legal Malpractice in Pittsburgh and Across Western Pennsylvania
Negligent lawyers create the risk of turning a valid lawsuit into or case into a total loss. Whether your financial security or freedom are on the line, incompetent representation can jeopardize your future. Because you have the right to trust your lawyer, lawyers have a legal duty to act in your best interests. You have the right to hold lawyers who violate this duty accountable.
At the Law Office of Mark A. Smith, you can rest assured that you will receive top quality legal advocacy by working with an attorney who will be a true partner in championing your cause. Attorney Smith is dedicated to holding other lawyers to the high ethical standards that he expects of himself. With more than two decades’ worth of legal experience and hundreds of satisfied clients, he is proud to provide legal guidance you can trust.
Working with a small firm can work to your benefit if you have been the victim of legal malpractice. Attorney Smith knows it can be difficult to trust another lawyer after your original lawyer violated that trust. He takes the time to get to know you personally, making himself available to answer your questions at your convenience.
If you would like to learn more about your right to hold a negligent lawyer accountable for malpractice, contact Attorney Smith for a free case review today. You can expect honest, straightforward advice about available options in your case.
Types of Legal Malpractice
A simple bad outcome in your case does not create an actionable claim for legal malpractice. Instead, you have to specifically demonstrate how your lawyer’s actions caused that bad outcome. Lawyers, like doctors, are held to high ethical and professional standards. That’s why lawyers must first complete years of training and testing before they are licensed to practice law.
Whether a lawyer’s negligence amounts to legal malpractice depends upon all the facts of your case. Examples of circumstances that could give you the right to sue for malpractice include:
- Violations of the lawyer’s duty of confidentiality
- Missing filing deadlines or ignoring court requirements
- Outright fraud and misrepresentation
- Missing the statute of limitations so that your lawsuit was time-barred
- Failing to follow your instructions in how to handle an element of your case
- Failing to know the law or apply the law correctly to the facts of your case
- Representing you in spite of an undisclosed and unresolved conflict of interest
- Misusing funds you have placed in a trust account or refusing to pay over your settlement proceeds
- Billing errors, including overbilling and billing for services that were not performed or expenses that were not incurred
- Failure to communicate your right to make important decisions in your case, including failure to get your consent to settle or accept a plea bargain
- Negligent representation, including failure to prepare for trial or failure to zealously advocate on your behalf
Legal malpractice cases are complicated because they essentially involve two lawsuits—the initial lawsuit where your lawyer made a mistake and a new lawsuit to hold the lawyer accountable.
At the Law Office of Mark A. Smith, we have the practical experience needed to handle these complex cases. Attorney Smith is detail-oriented and driven to get justice for his clients. He takes legal malpractice cases particularly seriously because attorney negligence threatens the integrity of the entire profession.
If you believe your lawyer’s actions amounted to legal malpractice, don’t wait to take action. Attorney Smith will make your case a priority and work tirelessly to protect your legal rights.
Establishing Whether a Lawyer’s Conduct Amounts to Legal Malpractice
Proving legal malpractice is very similar to proving negligence in other contexts. The basic elements include:
- A duty of care (the existence of an attorney-client relationship)
- Breach of that duty (your lawyer’s mistake and failed to act as a reasonable, trained lawyer would have given the circumstances)
- Causation (the mistake caused you harm that would not have resulted absent that mistake)
- Damages (you actually did suffer some type of harm, whether financial or otherwise)
In some cases, establishing malpractice is simple. If your lawyer stole funds from your trust account, that is a clear and actionable violation of law and legal ethics. If your lawyer had a conflict of interest and continued to represent you, you may only be entitled to recover compensation if that conflict impacted the outcome of your case.
Often, your lawyer can be disciplined by the Pennsylvania state bar association in addition to paying damages for the harm you suffered. In others, you might not be entitled to financial compensation.
Attorney Smith will work closely with you to analyze everything that happened in your original case. He thoroughly researches your case to give you the best possible chance of recovering fair financial compensation for the harm you have suffered. The first step to holding a negligent lawyer accountable is speaking with a respected, experienced legal malpractice lawyer. Contact Attorney Smith today to learn more about how he will fight to protect your rights.
Schedule a Free Case Review with a Respected Pittsburgh Legal Malpractice Lawyer Today
If you were harmed by a negligent lawyer’s actions, Attorney Smith is here to help hold that lawyer accountable. Victims of legal malpractice may have the right to fair financial compensation to make them whole again—whether in the form of restitution for funds that were stolen or compensation to make up for an unfavorable settlement.
Attorney Smith can provide the advocacy you need to move forward. For a free case review, call today to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pittsburgh Legal Malpractice Claims
You have two years to sue for legal malpractice if the basis for the claim is lawyer negligence. In cases where your lawyer breached a contract, you generally have four years to sue.
You could have the right to sue for legal malpractice regardless of whether the mistake was an accident or intentional. Lawyers have a duty to exercise care in performing their duties to clients. Just like in a car accident case, if your lawyer is not careful and harms someone else, the lawyer is responsible for the financial consequences.