Frequently Asked Questions
What is Legal Malpractice?
Legal malpractice can occur when a lawyer fails to render competent professional service to a client and the client is damaged as a result. In Pennsylvania there are three major theories of liability are negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract. To prove malpractice you must show that your lawyer owed you a duty to represent you, that he/she fell below the standard of care for lawyers, and that your lawyer’s mistake harmed you, causing damages. Additionally, you must file your lawsuit within a time period known as “statute of limitations” In general in Pennsylvania, the Statute of Limitation is two years for negligence cases and four years for breach of contract case. Of course every case is different and there are many exceptions so this can only be considered informational and not legal advice.
What happens when my attorney refuses to communicated with me?
A very common complaint is that an attorney refuses to return phone calls or respond to e-mails. A lack of communication in and of itself does not constitute legal malpractice but it is not a good sign. Often the problem can be resolved by one call from another attorney.
How do I obtain a new lawyer?
You can almost always go and seek a second opinion just like you would with a doctor. Once you locate a new attorney to represent you, your former lawyer will be contacted by them. Your new attorney will then arrange with your former attorney to have your file transferred. If there are no outstanding amounts owed there should be no delay.