Enlisting the services of an attorney is something most people in North Carolina do only when there is a great deal at stake, such as a significant amount of money or one’s personal freedom. Those who hire an attorney often do so because they want an advocate whom they can rely on to handle their cases efficiently and effectively. In many cases, the matters of law in question may be complicated, and the client may not have the skill or education to handle them. However, when a lawyer fails to perform his or her duties appropriately, a client may consider filing a legal malpractice claim.
Just because a client loses a case does not necessarily mean legal malpractice played a part. Sometimes the facts simply are not on the client’s side. Legal malpractice means that the attorney did not provide the diligence or attention the case needed and deserved. As a result, the client suffered some damage.
For example, an attorney who fails to return a client’s calls or keep the client posted on developments in the case may be neglecting the client. This may be especially frustrating if the attorney continues to bill the client for services not provided. Other examples of legal malpractice include lying in court, mishandling a client’s money, or missing important hearings or deadlines. Anything an attorney does that jeopardizes the outcome of a case may be cause for a malpractice claim.
Because so much of a case takes place behind the scenes, it may be difficult for a client to know if his or her case is being neglected. It is always wise to continue attempting to communicate with one’s attorney. However, if these efforts fail and a client is uncertain how to proceed, more drastic steps may be warranted. North Carolina clients can seek answers from an attorney with experience dealing with legal malpractice claims.