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Like in any profession, there are some bad lawyers out there. There are also some good ones who unfortunately make big mistakes. If your attorney has caused you severe financial harm in excess of $100,000, the Carolina Collection Law Firm may be able to help you.
The two most common legal claims filed against attorneys are for exceptional carelessness or ineptitude (legal malpractice) and overbilling. Money damages are determined by the financial position you would have been had the malpractice not occurred. Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and infliction of emotional distress are not available.
General incompetence does not form a promising basis for a legal malpractice lawsuit. In other words, just being a bad lawyer alone is not enough. Furthermore, a bad outcome in your case or transaction is not evidence of fault any more than a bad outcome on the operating table is proof that a surgeon erred. If it were, every time two opposing lawyers went to trial, the losing attorney would be liable for malpractice. Moreover, attorneys are generally permitted to take strategic risks that in hindsight turn out to be mistakes.
To bring a legal malpractice action, your attorney must have committed specific errors of carelessness or ineptitude that can be isolated and explained to a jury, and each specific error must have led directly to a loss of a significant amount money. Examples of such errors include failing to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires after committing to do so, failing to call an expert witness when one is required to prove a case, or facilitating the sale of a business while mistakenly making one’s client personally liable for the payment of a multi-million dollar building lease. Many more examples exist.
Overbilling usually occurs when the amount of money an attorney charges you to handle a legal matter grossly exceeds the amount a similarly situated attorney would have normally charged or if you were billed for unnecessary work or for work that did not actually occur.
An attorney cannot be liable for overbilling you just because she was negligent. For example, if you lose at trial because your attorney negligently fails to present important evidence, she has not overbilled you if a similarly situated attorney would have charged roughly the same amount to take your case to trial and represented you competently.
That being said, attorney fees and expenses are usually recoverable if your attorney charged you for taking some action to remedy her negligence. Such fees and expenses are also generally recoverable if you paid an attorney to appeal your case when the appeal would not have been necessary but for your attorney’s negligence.
Unfortunately, legal malpractice insurance does not work like homeowners insurance or errors and omissions insurance carried by contractors. You cannot just file a claim and get paid. They usually will not talk to you, and you should not attempt to communicate with them. In order to recover money damages your attorney caused you, you must sue him.
Violations of the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct (the lawyer ethics rules in North Carolina) alone do not form a basis for an attorney malpractice lawsuit.
We will consider legal malpractice claims from any field of law except for criminal matters. We are also one of the few legal malpractice law firms in North Carolina that will consider family law matters. We are licensed North Carolina only.
We do not charge for an initial phone consultation to discuss your potential claim. We will not provide legal advice during that phone call. If we believe we might be able to work together, we will explain how our claim investigation process works.
Legal malpractice claims are expensive to litigate because you must win two cases: you must prove you would have won the underlying case and show malpractice occurred. This is referred to as “a case-within-a-case.” In addition, multiple expert witnesses are typically required. Furthermore, many malpractice insurance carriers will not settle until you are close to trial.
For these reasons, if we accept your case, we charge a reduced hourly rate that is capped at a certain amount depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. Once capped, you will no longer pay us legal fees, and we will work on a contingency basis. This means that if you win your lawsuit, we will get a percentage of your award, and we will subtract the amount we charged you in legal fees from our portion of that award. Also, if you would rather pay us an hourly rate without a contingency, that option is always available as well.
If you, your business, or a loved one has suffered a loss due to the negligent or intentional actions of an attorney, contact the Carolina Collection Law Firm today at 704-529-9600. Please note that all information you share with us is kept strictly confidential.
The material contained on this page is for informational purposes only. It should not be taken or construed as legal advice and should not be relied upon to resolve your legal situation. Furthermore, nothing on this page or website creates an attorney-client relationship with you and our firm. If you have any questions or need legal advice, contact an attorney in your jurisdiction.