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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37972
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Curious about how to bring legal actions against former

Customer Question

Curious about how to bring legal actions against former family law attorney for damages in Duval county, FL. What the steps are, forms, etc.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

There are no forms. Legal/professional malpractice is one of the most difficult legal actions, because your opponent is a lawyer. The attorney will know how to defend him/herself, whereas you won't know how to prosecute the case. Consequently, only a lawyer is likely to understand the intricacies of suing another lawyer.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

There are no forms. Legal/professional malpractice is one of the most difficult legal actions, because your opponent is a lawyer. The attorney will know how to defend him/herself, whereas you won't know how to prosecute the case. Consequently, only a lawyer is likely to understand the intricacies of suing another lawyer.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.

I apologize, but the website has apparently just implemented a new editing system -- and it's just sent a part of my answer to you -- twice -- before I was ready to send anything.

I will try to continue, but I don't know if this will work, so I appreciate your patience in advance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no worries
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
one thing i wanted to add while you're typing that. I'm a CPA and very smart, with access to legal databases as a professor and I've had experience with legal research at the graduate level. Moreover, the evidence of my former attorney's errors are glaring. It's like there a picture of the smoking gun but he declined to show it in court. It's really 8th grade level. I'm just curious if there is any way I can pursue this, or at least do so in a way to get a settlment.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.

If you have access to WestlawNext(tm) or Lexis Advanced(tm), then that's a big plus (frankly, I'm the only person at Justanswer with similar access -- everyone else here pretty much "wings it" with their answers.

However, judges are generally very skeptical of a pro se legal malpractice claim -- because, let's face it, judges are lawyers, and they tend to protect the profession. So, while you may be competent to represent yourself, you may get adverse rulings throughout the case, and not realize that you're being "played" by your opponent and the judge.

Also, the biggest factor in a legal malpractice case (or any negligence action) is convincing the jury that you should be awarded the damages you request. That's as much an art form as it is a science. Really great civil litigators are mostly salespersons, and they specialize in selling damages to the jury. The same attorneys usually know less than nothing about the law itself, and frequently leave that portion of the case to an associate to handle.

Anyway, I can walk you through whatever part of the case you wish, but, to be fair, I get paid practically nothing to answer general questions about the law here, so if you're looking for a truly comprehensive coverage, then I suggest that you will be better served to purchase a civil practice treatise that emphasizes malpractice (whether medical or legal or otherwise). I also suggest that you try to find a case that's currently going to trial for malpractice, and that you actually sit in and observe. That's really the only way to learn the subject matter. You can nail the law to the wall, but in the final analysis, you still have to present the case to the jury, which means authenticating evidence, making a compelling opening and closing statement, etc. And, that's just not something that comes out of a book.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

Thanks again for using Justanswer!

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