In order to prevail in a legal malpractice case, a plaintiff must prove that his or her attorney failed to meet the required standard of care. In order to prove this to the jury, expert testimony is often required. Below is an overview of why expert testimony is needed in legal malpractice cases.
Establishing Legal Malpractice
In order to prevail in a legal malpractice case, a plaintiff must prove that:
- The plaintiff had an attorney-client relationship with the attorney,
- The attorney failed to provide competent representation to the plaintiff, and
- The attorney’s breach caused some type of harm to the plaintiff.
Information Provided by Legal Malpractice Experts
Legal malpractice experts describe the attorney’s standard of care to the jury. When representing a client, a lawyer is expected to exercise the same level of care, skill, and diligence that is exercised by other attorneys under similar conditions and circumstances. Depending on which party the legal malpractice expert represents, he or she then explains to the jury why the attorney’s actions did or didn’t meet the applicable standard of care.
Types of Disputes Requiring Expert Testimony
There are many types of legal malpractice claims that often require expert testimony. Common bases for legal malpractice claims include:
- Failure to know or apply the law
- Failure to file critical pleadings
- Failure to investigate
- Failure to property communicate
- Conflicts of interests
How Legal Malpractice Experts Qualify
Legal malpractice experts are usually attorneys. However, not all attorneys are qualified to provide legal malpractice expert witness testimony. Usually, a legal malpractice expert witness in a case has experience practicing in the legal area in question. For example, a tax attorney typically won’t act as an expert witness in a family law case.
How legal malpractice experts help
As noted above, a legal malpractice expert can provide the jury with clear guidance in the area of the attorney’s standard of care. In addition, a legal malpractice expert can help create exhibits, help craft cross examination questions, and assist in a variety of other ways. Generally, a legal malpractice expert can be a great asset in a legal malpractice case. Without an experienced legal malpractice expert, it can be difficult to convey complex information to the jury in an accessible way.
Contact a legal malpractice attorney today
Whether you are a plaintiff who is unhappy with your attorney, or you are an attorney who has been falsely accused of failing to meet your standard of care, you need an experienced Hackensack legal malpractice attorney in your corner. At Rosenblatt Law, our experienced legal malpractice attorneys will determine the best course of action in your case based on your unique circumstances, and we will work diligently to ensure that you receive a just outcome in your legal malpractice case. Please contact our office today to schedule a consultation.