In most legal malpractice cases, the error of the lawyer happened before trial, or happened in a transactional case, where a trial would never even take place. Legal malpractice happens when your attorney commits an error, which causes you substantial, usually financial, harm. Malpractice related to contracts can include the failure to do due diligence on your behalf, drafting vague or confusing contract terms, and failing to advise you of your legal rights. If your lawyer’s actions, or lack thereof, caused you harm, you may have a case for legal malpractice.
An example of legal malpractice in a transactional case is the failure of your attorney to do due diligence on your behalf. For instance, you may be purchasing a business that is renting space in the local strip mall. You retain an attorney to represent you in this transaction. The purchase is completed and money is paid to the Seller. A couple weeks go buy and the owner of the strip mall brings an action to evict your business because you do not have a lease and therefore no right to be occupying the space used by your newly acquired business. You expected the attorney to advise you concerning the need to formalize a rental agreement for the space your business is occupying but he failed to contact the landlord to negotiate the assignment of the Seller’s lease to your business or negotiate a new lease with the owner. Or you found out after the purchase is complete that the owner of the strip mall is willing to enter into a new lease, but not at the same terms he had with the prior owner resulting in a larger rental payment than you anticipated.
Another example of legal malpractice in a transactional setting is when your attorney drafts terms that are vague and/or confusing as terms in a contract are generally construed against the drafter. If your attorney drafts vague and/or confusing terms and there is a dispute concerning the contract in the future, the contract may being interpreted in a manner inconsistent with your wishes.
If you think your attorney’s actions in dealing with your contractual matters have harmed you in any way, you may have a case for legal malpractice. Phillips Silver has helped many clients throughout Massachusetts seek recourse against their former attorneys and is ready to discuss your case with you. Contact us for a free consultation. www.pstas.com
The information you obtain on this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult a lawyer for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact Phillips Silver and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Please note, contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.