Can my son sue his criminal defense attorney for malpractice?

Asked over 1 year ago - Denver, CO

For 8 months my son worked with Attorney A on his case. (To my knowledge he only met attorney B one time) The day of trial, and un-announced to my son or anyone, attorney B showed up to represent him. My son questioned this and so did I. Attorney B said he was the trial attorney. But he was not prepared and did a very poor job of representing my son. My son requested attorney A to take over. But this did not happen. On top of that, my son did not receive all the evidence, in the case. Attorney B is attorney A's boss. But attorney A does do criminal trials. If you don't think he can sue them, does he have any re-coarse?
Thank you,

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Stephen Clark Harkess

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your son needs to consult with an attorney who handles legal malpractice claims. In order to have a case, he would need to show that his attorney did something that fell below the usual standard of care for attorneys and that the outcome would likely have been different if that had not happened. Whether he has a claim depends on just how unprepared his trial attorney was and whether it is more likely than not that an adequate level of preparation would have resulted in a different outcome.

    A malpractice case against a criminal defense attorney is extremely difficult to win due to the need to prove that it is more likely than not that the trial could have been won. The D.A. would not have taken the case to trial without a belief that he had a strong chance to win and if the D.A. would have won anyway then your son has no case. He will have to show a serious lapse and a very very strong defense in order to prevail.

    You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or Stephen Harkess is an attorney... more
  2. Christopher Daniel Leroi

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . My colleague is correct. You would need to consult with a medical malpractice attorney here locally and have them contact a criminal defense attorney who would attest that Attorney B committed malpractice and was negligent in his representation of your son. Depending on the case, the attorney's experience, etc. it might be malpractice or it might not. The key question is whether a criminal defense attorney who was properly prepared would have been able to obtain a different verdict of not guilty from the jury.

    The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in... more
  3. David Ian Schoen


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Only if the attorney committed malpractice. I am sure your son hired the firm, not the individual attorney. It looks like he got the more experienced (if not better) attorney. Your son could have spoken up at the time and had an opportunity to hire a new attorney if having attorney A handle the case was that important to him.

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