Ohio residents will likely know that doctors and hospitals may face medical malpractice lawsuits when they make mistakes that cause injury, loss or damage to their patients, but they may not know that attorneys may also be sued for malpractice. However, a plaintiff must establish that an attorney acted negligently or failed to abide by established codes of ethical and professional conduct to successfully pursue such a claim, and simply not obtaining a favorable result will not usually be sufficient to support a legal malpractice claim.
Attorneys have a fiduciary relationship with their clients, and this relationship may be violated when there is a conflict of interest or a client's funds are commingled with those of the attorney. A conflict of interest could occur when an attorney represents a client with interests adverse to those of their other clients. A legal malpractice claim could also be based on the negligent actions of an attorney.
Proving negligence in a legal malpractice case can be challenging because the outcome of a legal action always involves a certain degree of uncertainty. A plaintiff in this ind of lawsuit must show causation, which means it must be demonstrated that a competent attorney would have prevailed in the case concerned had the Rules of Professional Conduct established by the American Bar Association been followed.
This form of litigation is highly complex, and those who feel that their attorney may have committed legal malpractice may wish to consult with an attorney familiar with these matters. Not all violations of the professional rules governing the legal profession may be actionable, and an attorney with experience in this area may be able to weigh the merits of a potential lawsuit to determine if the breach of duty involved could be considered malpractice.