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Legal Malpractice in Northern Virginia

Legal malpractice is something that lawyers never like to talk about, but it does exist. If you have been injured as a result of attorney malpractice then you may have a basis for making a claim. The elements of a legal malpractice claim are similar to those of a medical malpractice claim. 

Accountant malpractice is similar to legal malpractice. It’s a breach of contract action. The contract is between the client and the accountant and is for services which may be related to taxes, bookkeeping, or auditing, to name a few.

For both of these types of malpractice, you must prove that the conduct was substandard. In addition, you must show that substandard conduct on the attorney’s or accountant’s part caused injury to you. As is true in any professional liability claim, you must establish the standard of care. You must also prove a breach of the standard of care, causation, and damages.

Legal Malpractice Claims Are Premised on Proving the Relationship

One issue that sometimes arises in legal malpractice claims is whether or not an attorney-client relationship exists. To create that relationship, there need not be a payment of fees. It’s best for you, however, if a contract of employment with the attorney is in writing—but the agreement can be oral. 

Frequently the contract is implied from the acts of the parties. It may be sufficient for a relationship to be considered established if the client sought and received advice from the attorney. Even without a formal written contract, it’s possible that email exchanges could contain evidence of an agreement between the attorney and the client. 

An oral contract, in this instance, is as enforceable as a written contract. For obvious reasons, it’s better to have a fully written contract because the terms are clearer to both parties. Call or contact us for a free consultation on this matter.

In a legal malpractice action it is necessary in most instances to retain an attorney as an expert witness.  That attorney acting as an expert will testify as to the standard of care, the breach of the standard of care and what damages that breach caused. 

Accounting Malpractice Based on Tax Advice

Much of what accountants do revolves around tax returns and tax advice, which is a very specialized area. If you file an accountant malpractice case,  you’ll have to hire a different accountant to act as a tax expert in the courtroom. 

This accountant will explain the tax issues to the jury, testify to the standard of care that applies, and also explain how the accountant fell below that standard of care. Finally, they will address how the client was damaged as a result of the substandard conduct. 

These are the basic elements of an accountant malpractice lawsuit. If you feel that you’ve been the victim of accounting malpractice, contact Brien Roche law.

Why So Many Have Trusted Brien Roche


Top Rated in VA


40+ Years of Experience


Winning Record


Handles all Types of Malpractice


Compassionate & Caring


Works on Contingency Fee Basis

Some Brien Roche Legal Malpractice Cases

Case DescriptionAmount
Legal malpractice relating to injury claim$3,000,000
Legal malpractice action on behalf of local physician
$500,000
Legal Malpractice Settlement$600,000
Legal Malpractice Action Against Local Attorney, failed to diligently pursue wrongful death action$550,000

★★★★★

I absolutely without any doubts whatsoever, highly recommend Brien Roche to any person in need of legal counsel. Brien is honest, sincere, and has a heart concerning his clients. He is driven toward what his goals are and will not quit on you! I presented him with an extremely complicated case, in which I was at a total loss, but he was not intimidated and we came out feeling justified. Brien is one of the most compassionate, dignified, yet tough and strong men that I have ever known! He amazed us all with his legal presence in the courtroom and beyond! You can’t go wrong with Brien Roche!

-Joyce W.

Frequently Asked Questions

The basic obligation of the attorney is to comply with what is called “the standard of care.” The standard of care is a standard governed by what is the norm within the profession as far as that particular type of matter. The attorney who is being sued is not held to the highest standard of care. Nor is he allowed to operate at the lowest standard of care. What is expected is what a reasonably prudent lawyer would do in that context.
The expensive part of legal malpractice claims is that not only does the Plaintiff need a lawyer to handle the case, but also a legal expert to testify. The expert addresses what the standard of care was and how that standard of care was breached. The expert may also give an opinion as to what the fault of the lawyer caused. Going to trial without an expert witness to support a legal malpractice claim in most instances would be unwise.
Virginia’s statute of limitations for legal and accounting malpractice cases may be either three (3) or five (5) years. Exactly what the limitation is is a tricky issue for which legal consultation is required.
When an accountant fails to provide basic standards of care, it can lead to severe losses for their clients. The basic standards of care for the accounting industry are found in:
    • The Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
    • The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Generally Accepted Auditing Standards
    • The Sarbanes-Oxley Act

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Legal Malpractice Attorney Northern Virginia

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