Ethics Violations vs. Legal Malpractice | What to Know.

Posted May 11th, 2022.

Categories: Legal Malpractice.

Although ethics violations and legal malpractice are terms that are sometimes used interchangeably, they are not the same. With that, it is important to understand the difference between the two so to determine if you have a valid claim on your hands. Continue reading to learn their distinguishments, and how an experienced New Jersey legal malpractice attorney can assist you in navigating the filing process.

What are ethics violations?

Ethics violations break a company’s documented code of ethics, mission, vision, and culture. Even though ethics violations are considered a reprehensive form of behavior for an attorney, it does not necessarily mean that you have grounds for a legal malpractice case. However, the following are examples that are considered valid reasons for an attorney to be removed from the bar:

  • Ignoring a client’s calls or emails: the attorney does not update the client about the status of the case or they do not respond to the client’s request for certain information.
  • Failing to return important documents to the client: the attorney does not return what is considered the personal property of the client regardless of the outcome of the case.
  • Demonstrating incompetence: if the attorney does not have the necessary experience and knowledge, then they must make reasonable efforts to gain the particular knowledge and skill, associate in an attorney who does, or refer the client to a different attorney.
  • Disregarding apparent conflicts of interest: the attorney represents two opposing parties at the same time or ignores signs of a potential conflict that may become an actual conflict.
  • Dismissing apparent financial discrepancy: the attorney charges excessive fees or steals, misplaces, or refuses to give the client his or her money.
  • Forgetting to notify a client of a settlement payment: the attorney does not inquire about decisions that must be made in the case.

What is considered legal malpractice?

Legal malpractice is defined as negligence, a breach of contract, or a breach of fiduciary duty by an attorney, resulting in the harm of their client. The main difference between the two is that with a legal malpractice claim, you will have to prove that your attorney’s negligence caused you to sustain significant damages. In other words, you must show that if it wasn’t for your attorney’s negligence, you would have won your case.

If the above circumstances deem applicable to you, do not hesitate to reach out to a skilled New Jersey legal malpractice attorney today to set up your legal malpractice claim.

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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