When attorney errors cause harm to the client, it is malpractice.
Lawyers owe their clients duties including the duties of competency, loyalty, objectivity, zeal and, most importantly, the duty to act single-mindedly in the best interest for the client.
While the field of legal malpractice is complex, we have found that legal malpractice claims tend to fall into two general categories…
Negligence claims range from human error in drafting legal instruments, such as contracts or deeds, to missed deadlines, such as statutes of limitations.
Conflict of Interest
A conflict of interest occurs anytime an attorney’s loyalties and duties to the client are divided due to the attorney’s desire or duty to protect the interests of another client, a third party or even himself/herself.
The potential for conflict exists in many settings and can be extremely problematic for the attorney, as conflicted representation is presumptively poisoned representation.
Conflict of interest cases are the most serious type of legal malpractice claims because of the profound violation of the duties owed to clients which are often present in the cases, and because of the negative impact that the claims have on the image of the legal profession and therefore on the administration of justice itself.
These are claims that need to be prosecuted to deter that rare lawyer who would place his or her own interests ahead of the interests of their clients. After all, any lawyer is capable of an honest mistake. The defining line lies in how the attorney addresses the error.
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Legal Malpractice Guide for South Carolina Residents
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