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I was the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit and the…

I was the plaintiff in...
I was the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit and the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment after a motion to dismiss was denied. My attorney told me repeatedly that the motion did not stand a chance and filed a response that essentially asked the court to look at our arguments from the first motion to dismiss. I told the attorney repeatedly that I wanted to file a response using testimony from the def's deposition and with additional exhibits. The attorney, at the last minute, filed a rough draft of a memo of law that was not near complete and with his own notes still on it, which also referred to some exhibits but he did not file the exhibits or the deposition transcript. The motion was granted. How do I know if this would be a malpractice case worth my time/money?
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Answered in 10 minutes by:
3/9/2018
Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,899
Experience: Attorney with significant personal injury experience
Verified

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

The vast majority of legal malpractice suits involve missing deadlines. Any other types of legal failings can too easily be attributed to strategy and discretion to support a claim for negligence. Here, for instance, I'm sure your attorney would claim that a response referencing testimony and these additional exhibits was unnecessary, or not included for some tactical reason, and that would be very difficult to refute. Again, you have to show that they were NEGLIGENT, not merely that they didn't take the best approach in hindsight. If malpractice occurred every time an attorney did something less than perfect, attorneys would be getting sued all the time and nobody would want to be a lawyer.

The second issue here is damages. Even if you can show that the attorney committed legal malpractice, resulting in the dismissal of your case on summary judgment, you would still need to show that had your case not been dismissed, you would have obtained a judgment. Assessing damages under these circumstances becomes so speculative, because you have no idea what a jury might have awarded in your case.

I would certainly still consult with some legal malpractice attorneys in your area. Virtually all such attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so there is no up front cost for their services. You stand nothing to lose by consulting, and perhaps one will be willing to pursue your case on contingency. But I would go into the consultation process aware of the difficulties I have described above and understanding that you may not find anyone willing to take on the case because of those difficulties.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

* Disclaimer *

Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
The only other question I have is could the malpractice suit help me with the appeal of the dismissal in any way?

No problem. I see no way that it would help. In fact, since the basis of your appeal would be that the judge errored in its ruling, it would be hard to even allege malpractice until the appeal has been denied.

I hope this helps. Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service (using the stars at the top of the page) so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Very best wishes.

Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,899
Experience: Attorney with significant personal injury experience
Verified
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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,899
13,899 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Attorney with significant personal injury experience

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