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In A Legal Malpractice Case What Damages Are Recoverable

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses In a legal malpractice case what damages are recoverable

Brien Roche

In A Legal Malpractice Case What Damages Are Recoverable Define The Case

Many attorneys look at legal malpractice cases from the backside. In other words, what might the case be worth. That is assuming all the elements can be proved.

If the underlying case is an auto crash then the value is going to be governed by what the auto crash was worth. If the auto crash was only worth $10,000 then the legal malpractice case is only worth that. There is no add-on because the attorney was at fault. Within the context of a legal malpractice case the damages that may be recovered may be referred to as “hard damages”. Also called “economic damages”. This is as opposed to “soft damages” or “non-economic damages”. The latter are not recoverable. Soft damages may be such things as emotional distress and other such non-economic damages. Economic damages are thought of as being readily quantified. Noneconomic damages are more subject to variation.

If the underlying case involved the recovery of non-economic damages then those damages are includable. What cannot be recovered in a legal malpractice case are any damages in the nature of noneconomic damages that were not part of the underlying case. For example there is no basis for recovery for emotional distress. Even though the lawyer’s fault may have caused distress this cannot be recovered. Call, or contact us for a free consult.

The Case Within The Case Requirement-An Example

Assume the underlying case for which the lawyer was retained is a medical malpractice case. Assume the lawyer’s handling of that case was substandard. The party suing the attorney must present the medical malpractice case. In addition they must prove that there would’ve been a verdict in their favor. Plus they must prove the amount. That proof then is the loss that was caused by the lawyer’s substandard conduct. You are trying two cases. First the medical malpractice case and what it was worth. Then the evidence in support of the legal malpractice.

Some judges may give consideration to bifurcating or separating the cases. For instance the medical malpractice case may be tried first. If that verdict is in favor of the party bringing the claim then the legal malpractice case will be presented. If the case is a jury trial then one jury will hear both cases. Bifurcation is something that is frequently sought by the defense. It is typically opposed by the plaintiff.

Non-Litigation Matters

If the underlying case is a non-litigation matter then the damages are the damages caused by the fault of the lawyer. Suppose the lawyer was hired to file a deed of trust to secure the client’s loan and she fails to do so. The resulting damage is the client cannot collect the loan. That is the amount of recovery allowed in the malpractice case.
Suppose the lawyer was hired to prepare a contract. The lawyer leaves out a material term. The value of that material term must be set. That is the value of the malpractice case.

Call, or contact us for a free consult. In addition for more information on legal malpractice see the other pages on the site. Also see the pages on Wikipedia.

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In A Legal Malpractice Case What Damages Are Recoverable

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses In a legal malpractice case what damages are recoverable

Brien Roche

In A Legal Malpractice Case What Damages Are Recoverable Define The Case

Many attorneys look at legal malpractice cases from the backside. In other words, what might the case be worth. That is assuming all the elements can be proved.

If the underlying case is an auto crash then the value is going to be governed by what the auto crash was worth. If the auto crash was only worth $10,000 then the legal malpractice case is only worth that. There is no add-on because the attorney was at fault. Within the context of a legal malpractice case the damages that may be recovered may be referred to as “hard damages”. Also called “economic damages”. This is as opposed to “soft damages” or “non-economic damages”. The latter are not recoverable. Soft damages may be such things as emotional distress and other such non-economic damages. Economic damages are thought of as being readily quantified. Noneconomic damages are more subject to variation.

If the underlying case involved the recovery of non-economic damages then those damages are includable. What cannot be recovered in a legal malpractice case are any damages in the nature of noneconomic damages that were not part of the underlying case. For example there is no basis for recovery for emotional distress. Even though the lawyer’s fault may have caused distress this cannot be recovered. Call, or contact us for a free consult.

The Case Within The Case Requirement-An Example

Assume the underlying case for which the lawyer was retained is a medical malpractice case. Assume the lawyer’s handling of that case was substandard. The party suing the attorney must present the medical malpractice case. In addition they must prove that there would’ve been a verdict in their favor. Plus they must prove the amount. That proof then is the loss that was caused by the lawyer’s substandard conduct. You are trying two cases. First the medical malpractice case and what it was worth. Then the evidence in support of the legal malpractice.

Some judges may give consideration to bifurcating or separating the cases. For instance the medical malpractice case may be tried first. If that verdict is in favor of the party bringing the claim then the legal malpractice case will be presented. If the case is a jury trial then one jury will hear both cases. Bifurcation is something that is frequently sought by the defense. It is typically opposed by the plaintiff.

Non-Litigation Matters

If the underlying case is a non-litigation matter then the damages are the damages caused by the fault of the lawyer. Suppose the lawyer was hired to file a deed of trust to secure the client’s loan and she fails to do so. The resulting damage is the client cannot collect the loan. That is the amount of recovery allowed in the malpractice case.
Suppose the lawyer was hired to prepare a contract. The lawyer leaves out a material term. The value of that material term must be set. That is the value of the malpractice case.

Call, or contact us for a free consult. In addition for more information on legal malpractice see the other pages on the site. Also see the pages on Wikipedia.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Contact Us For A Free Consultation