Ohio Legal Malpractice Law Overview

Legal malpractice or lawyer malpractice means the negligence, breach of fiduciary duty or breach of contract by an attorney that causes harm to his or her client.

A fiduciary duty is the general legal obligation the attorney has to act in the best interest of his client.

Misconduct by an Ohio attorney can fall into one of, or all of, these categories:

  1. Legal Malpractice
  2. Criminal Action
  3. Violation of Lawyer Ethical Standards

Stealing from a client could fall under all three of the above categories.

Ohio Legal Malpractice Law Overview

Forgetting to file a case within a statute of limitations, or forgetting a court date, is not criminal, but violates a lawyer’s ethical standards and may constitute legal malpractice.

Legal Malpractice requires proof that the outcome of a case would have turned out differently had the attorney not acted in a negligent manner and there is a defined financial loss because of the attorney’s negligence.

If the outcome of your case would have been the same despite the actions of the attorney or if you cannot prove the outcome would have been different, then legal malpractice has not occurred.

A very important fact about legal malpractice is these claims have a one-year statute of limitations. This means that you cannot sue an attorney more than one year after the date of the incident for which you are claiming legal malpractice or one year from the date of your last relationship with the attorney.

It is possible the one year could run from the date you discovered or should have discovered you were injured as a result of the lawyer malpractice, but it could be debatable when you “should have discovered” your legal basis for making a legal malpractice claim.

If you are wondering whether or not you are the victim of legal malpractice, ask yourself the following questions, then contact us for a free consultation and free case evaluation to see if your case fits the definition of legal malpractice in Ohio:

  1. Was my case dismissed because my lawyer failed to diligently pursue the case?
  2. Did my lawyer steal money from me or an estate that I was involved with?
  3. Was my case dismissed because my lawyer failed to designate expert witnesses or failed to provide adequate expert reports?
  4. Did my lawyer force me to settle my case for an inadequate amount due to a conflict of interest?
  5. Did I get sued because my lawyer drafted a document or agreement that was improper or ambiguous?
  6. Did I lose my case because my lawyer drafted a document or agreement that was improper or ambiguous?
  7. Did the lawyer use adequate “discovery”?
  8. Did the lawyer “dump” my case just before the statute of limitations ran out?
  9. Did my lawyer force me to settle out of court instead of going to trial because of lack of preparation or experience?
  10. Did the lawyer prepare sufficiently for my case?
  11. Did I get an improper or inadequate settlement in my original suit?

If any of these have happened to you, you may be able to collect monetary compensation for legal malpractice.

Learn even more by requesting a free copy of our book: Legal Malpractice in Ohio, How to determine if your lawyer committed malpractice and what to do about it.

Please contact us for a free consultation with an attorney experienced with Ohio legal malpractice cases.

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