Can I Sue an Attorney for Pursuing a Negligent Strategy?

Posted September 10th, 2019.

Categories: Legal Malpractice.

Regardless of one’s profession, people expect those who have a professional license or provide professional services to perform their jobs honestly and efficiently. Therefore, when people retain legal counsel in their time of need, they too require their attorney to conduct themselves professionally, and, rather obviously, within legal constraints. Generally, this is the case, and attorneys work openly and responsively with their clients, with the clear goal of successfully legally representing them by obtaining a favorable outcome.
However, this is not always the case, and sometimes, attorneys behave negligently. When an attorney breaches his or her duty of care, their clients are very often harmed as a result; whether it be financial harm, jail time, or both. These are, rather obviously, very serious ramifications, which is why most people who are victims of legal malpractice seek justice against their negligent attorney. If you believe you are a victim of legal malpractice, here are some of the questions you may have:

What constitutes a negligent attorney strategy?

You must first understand that receiving an unfavorable verdict does not automatically count as legal malpractice. If your attorney acted within reasonable standards and you simply lost the case, he or she may not have acted negligently. However, when an attorney chooses a strategy that is either too weak, too aggressive, unethical, too costly, misguided or misdirected or does not have a strategy at all, you may have a viable legal malpractice lawsuit. If you can prove that a reasonably prudent attorney with the skill and competence necessary to provide the same legal service would not have made the decision your attorney made, there may be a breach of duty, and, therefore, a feasible legal malpractice claim.

What are some examples of a negligent attorney strategy?

  • Allowing a member of the client’s family to dictate the direction of the case;
  • Failing to adequately fight pre-trial motions or failing to file the appropriate cross-motions;
  • Failing to identify, interview and prepare witnesses for trial;
  • Choosing the wrong court to initiate the claims;
  • Choosing the wrong causes of action or theories of liability;
  • Failing to plead the best defenses;
  • Neglecting to consider tax consequences;
  • Disregarding the need to retain, prepare, and utilize appropriate expert witnesses;
  • Adopting an unworkable theme for the trial;
  • Assuming that a settlement offer will improve, and delaying work on the case in anticipation thereof;
  • Disregarding insurance ramifications;
  • Not pursuing pre-trial discovery, or not pursuing it adequately;
  • Using discovery tactics to harass the opposing side rather than to gather meaningful evidence cost-effectively;
  • Allowing the opposing side to conduct discovery recklessly or aimlessly without objection.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

The Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick is an experienced and committed legal team for clients throughout the state of New Jersey. Our team effectively serves victims of legal malpractice. If you require the services of a dedicated attorney, please contact The Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick today for a free consultation.

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