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Can Attorney fees be considered economic harm or injury in a legal malpractice lawsuit?

Dallas, TX |

I am wanting to know rather fees paid to an attorney as well as expenses incurred from travel, for services not rendered, would be considered economic harm or injury where a legal malpractice law suit is concerned. Fees were payed to an attorney for papers that were not served as well as motions not filed. This went on for three years before we found out these things were never served or filed as was told to us. This is a probate case and is still open and needless to say we do have a new attorney and I realize nothing can be done until the case is settled, but would the above fall under that. We feel it falls under Breach of Contract, Negligence as well as Breach of Fiduciary Duty. We just are not sure how the economic harm part comes into it.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

I'm not sure I understand your question, but there are several reputable attorneys in the Dallas area on Avvo who could assist you. Look up "legal malpractice" and consult one of them. They typically offer free consultations. It would be beneficial to take all the paperwork you have regarding your case so the attorney can give you a full and fair assessment. Good luck.

* Please note that I am an Attorney practicing in Georgia, but I am not your attorney. This post is intended to provide some helpful insight into your particular situation, but it should not be taken as legal advice. If you would like to discuss your Georgia Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, or Criminal case, I am happy to discuss your specific situation with you at no cost to you. I can be reached at 404-996-5157 or Fareesh@SarangiLaw.com. If you found this Answer "Helpful" or " The Best Answer", please click the tab indicating that. Thank you!

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Posted

Every case is different and state laws differ, so please understand that what follows is general information. Yes, under certain circumstances legal fees can be an element of damages in a legal malpractice case. For example, if you pay a lawyer for work and he botches the matter or engages in a conflict of interest, you can sue him to pay back the fees. If a lawyer's mistake requires you to spend money on legal fees to fix it, those expenses may be recoverable as damages in a legal malpractice case. A legal malpractice case is separate from a probate proceeding and most likely will have to be brought in a different court. You should ask your present lawyer for a recommendation to a legal malpractice lawyer if he or she does not handle legal malpractice cases.

Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to Avvo questions are for general information purposes only, and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice.

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Posted

Yes, in a given case, attorneys' fees can be a recoverable item of damages. An example would be that the lawyer overcharged and/or charged for services he or she never performed. In a breach of fiduciary duty case, the plaintiff, if successful, may also be entitled to the remedy of disgorgement, i.e., an award equal to all of the fees charged by the defendant lawyer and paid by the former client. Other actual financial losses attributable to the lawyer's misconduct, such as travel expenses, are generally recoverable under both negligence and breach of fiduciary theories.

Your statement that "nothing can be done until the case is settled" may not be correct. Like all other civil actions, an action against a lawyer for negligence or breach of fiduciary duty is governed by a statute of limitations. Generally, the statute begins to run as soon as the client is harmed by the misconduct unless he or she neither knows nor should know of the harm until later, in which case the discovery rule applies, starting the clock running when the client discovers or should discover the harm. Where the underlying case involves contested litigation, the clock does not begin to run until the litigation has ended, but your post does not disclose whether or not the probate case is contested. Even if it is, waiting any length of time at all before consulting a legal malpractice lawyer in this scenario is a big mistake. accordingly, I suggest that you start looking for a legal malpractice plaintiffs' lawyer now.

Please follow the link below for help in finding a good lawyer. Legal malpractice is a sub-division of Personal Injury Trial Law.

Good luck.

www.tbls.org

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Posted

You really should consult with a mal practice atty asap. I dont know TX law, but the statute of limitations could be triggerred, even though the probate case is ongoing. I would hate for you to wait until the case is over, only to find that the statute of limitations has expired on the malpractice claim.

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