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Not every mistake made by an attorney is considered legal malpractice. Instead, legal malpractice happens when an attorney handles a case inappropriately due to negligence or with intent to harm and causes damages to a client. To prevail in a legal malpractice lawsuit in most jurisdictions, you will need to prove an attorney-client relationship between you and the lawyer, a breach of the duty to provide skillful and competent representation (negligence), causation, and a financial loss.
Proving the first element requires you to show that an attorney gave or promised to give you legal advice or assistance, and therefore created an attorney-client relationship in which you were owed competent and skillful representation. Usually, this relationship is created by a written contract or agreement, but it also can be implied from an attorney’s actions in connection with the client’s actions. In some states, if a client has a reasonable belief that there is an attorney-client relationship based on an attorney’s representations, that is enough to find an attorney-client relationship. The nature of this element could vary depending on the ethics rules of the State Bar in your state, and occasionally attorneys do contest that there was such a relationship.
Represented lender on a $125,000,000+ refinancing of various credit facilities for a multinational manufacturer with assets located across Canada and in the United States.