What is Legal Malpractice in Connecticut?
Under Connecticut law, evaluating whether a lawyer has committed malpractice that will allow recovery by a former client is a two-step process. First, there must be a determination as to whether or not the lawyer was professionally negligent. In other words, did the lawyer fail to meet the standard of competence in professionally representing the client with respect to a specific issue. It means that you must first prove that your lawyer made a mistake that a competent lawyer would not have made before you can claim that your lawyer committed malpractice which had the effect of harming you.
For all but the most obvious mistakes, in order to successfully bring a claim in court there must be expert testimony showing what the standard of professional competence is and showing that the former lawyer did not live up to his/her obligations under that standard. For most areas of malpractice by lawyers this is a requirement. An example of where you would not need an expert to show that your lawyer was negligent or had committed malpractice is where the lawyer failed to bring a claim within the time required, usually called the Statute of Limitations, and as a result of this failure to bring the claim within this time you lost your rights against the party/parties who harmed you in the first place.
There is a second part to any analysis of whether there is a valid malpractice claim against your lawyer. This is a simple question. Would you have won your case if your lawyer had not committed malpractice or professional negligence? The answer is not simple. This is something which also must be proved with credible evidence by an expert. This is often referred to as the "case within a case."
Finally, there are rules which govern when a malpractice case can be brought against a lawyer. If you wait too long to start an action you may be barred by the Statute of Limitations, the law that says claims must be brought within a certain time or a party loses the right to bring a claim.
It is complicated to bring a claim against a negligent lawyer who has committed malpractice. There are many steps which must be taken to analyze whether a valid claim exists under Connecticut law. If you believe that your lawyer has committed malpractice you should immediately consult with a lawyer who is experienced in bringing legal malpractice claims. An experienced malpractice lawyer will know what questions to ask and what areas to discuss with you to decide whether there is a likelihood of a successful malpractice claim.
Call to Schedule a Consultation With a West Hartford Legal Malpractice Lawyer
If you have a question or concern regarding a malpractice claim, contact us, Connecticut legal malpractice plaintiff's attorneys online or call 860.985.9424 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.