Legal Malpractice: How to Protect Your Rights with the Right Lawyer

legal malpractice lawyer Portland OR

Attorneys are human, and mistakes are inevitable. However, some errors are more severe than others. Attorney failures related to investigation or discovery can constitute legal malpractice. It includes missing important witness testimony or needing to document evidence properly. You must demonstrate that your first lawyer owed you a fiduciary duty for your legal malpractice claim to be successful. Pursuing a malpractice claim requires careful consideration of specialized defenses and theories.

File a Claim

To file a legal malpractice claim, the injured party must show four things:

  1. They must establish the existence of a lawyer-client relationship. A signed contract or agreement typically does this.
  2. They have to demonstrate that the lawyer violated the duty of care. It’s done through expert testimony demonstrating how the original attorney’s actions fell below the accepted standard of care.
  3. They must prove that the negligent actions caused them financial harm.
  4. They must prove they would have won their underlying case but for the attorney’s errors.

The best way to avoid being harmed by the wrong attorney is to work with an experienced legal malpractice attorney. A legal malpractice lawyer Portland OR, can help you determine if your attorney committed malpractice and can take steps to protect you from harm.

Investigate the Case

When someone believes they have been harmed due to an attorney’s negligence, they can file a legal malpractice case. These cases are highly complex and require substantial legal work. A lawyer with experience in this area of law is the best option for pursuing a lawsuit. They should also have the resources and relationships to bring in experts to analyze the underlying case and testify that it would likely have been successful if not for the original attorney’s conduct.

It is easy to mistake an offensive behavior or unfavorable outcome for attorney malpractice. However, to have a valid claim, it must be shown that the original attorney breached their duty of care, which is usually established by an agreement between the attorney and client or by proving that another attorney in the same practice area with similar skills would have done differently under the circumstances.

Expert testimony is often necessary. An expert can describe how the attorney’s actions deviated from the standard of care and show how they negatively impacted your case.

Consult with an Attorney

If an attorney’s malpractice has harmed you, you must hire an experienced legal malpractice lawyer. They will review the case, file a claim on your behalf, and fight for compensation. There are several types of malpractice – some of which may seem minor, such as failing to file paperwork on time or provide competent representation. However, other malpractice cases are more serious – such as blending personal funds with law firm funds or violating attorney-client privilege.

In any legal malpractice claim, you will need to show four elements. First, you must demonstrate that your original attorney owed you a duty of care. It’s based on a contract or agreement between you and your attorney. Subsequently, you must demonstrate that the initial legal representative violated this duty of care by acting carelessly or making an error that a more cautious lawyer would have avoided in the same circumstance.


Legal malpractice claims require extensive discovery and a rigorous examination of the evidence. Moreover, they often require the assistance of expert witnesses. Those burdens may deter some clients from filing a claim. Arbitration can reduce those costs and other barriers to a successful claim. However, attorneys should carefully weigh the pros and cons of including arbitration provisions in their engagement agreements. They should also consider their insurance carrier’s position and the applicable rules and case law in their jurisdiction.

In addition, if an attorney’s malpractice carrier requires them to defend the claim, they should not contract for arbitration without the carrier’s written consent. It would violate their duty to cooperate and could result in the forfeiture of coverage for the claim.