February 17, 2016

Answers to Legal Malpractice FAQs

Category: Legal Malpractice | Author: | Share:

Here, our Indianapolis legal malpractice attorneys provide answers to some frequently asked questions about legal malpractice claims in Indiana.

Q: What are some common grounds for legal malpractice claims?

A: While there are numerous possible grounds for clients to file legal malpractice claims against their attorneys, some of the most common grounds include:

  • Devoting inadequate resources to a case or investigation
  • Failing to keep clients informed and seek their input regarding important decisions
  • Failing to meet court deadlines
  • Misinterpreting or improperly applying the law
  • Mismanaging or misappropriating funds paid by clients or received on a client’s behalf

Q: What is the difference between a legal malpractice case and an attorney disciplinary proceeding?

A: In a malpractice case, the attorney’s client seeks compensation for his, her or its losses sustained as a result of the attorney’s malpractice. In a disciplinary proceeding, the attorney must go before the Indiana Judiciary’s Disciplinary Commission to face possible punishment for violating the rules of professional conduct.

Q: Can I still pursue a legal malpractice case if my attorney is being disciplined by the Indiana Judiciary?

A: Yes. Disciplinary proceedings are separate and distinct from legal malpractice claims. The fact that a disciplinary proceeding has been (or hasn’t been) instituted has no direct bearing on your case. Similarly, the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding will not have a direct impact on your malpractice claim.

Q: Are Indiana attorney disciplinary cases available online?

A: Yes. Orders and opinions regarding attorney discipline cases are available through on the Indiana Judiciary’s website.

Q: What are some recent examples of attorney discipline cases in Indiana?

A: The Indiana Supreme Court issued five disciplinary orders in January 2016. Although many of these orders are light on details, one case stands out in particular.

The attorney in question was representing a client in a lawsuit against a local municipality. Once the case got underway, the attorney made numerous mistakes, including:

  • Failing to follow the procedures required in federal court,
  • Failing to respond to the opposing party’s discovery requests and an order compelling his client to produce discovery, and
  • Failing to respond to the opposing party’s motion for sanctions.

While the Indiana Supreme Court found that these mistakes resulted in violations of several rules of professional conduct, it only ordered a public reprimand (possible consequences of a disciplinary proceeding range from no formal action to lifetime disbarment). In doing so, the Court noted that the attorney had already advised his client to hire a malpractice attorney and had also indicated his willingness to pay any malpractice judgment awarded against him.

Price Waicukauski Joven & Catlin, LLC | Indiana Legal Malpractice Attorneys

Price Waicukauski Joven & Catlin, LLC provides experienced legal representation for individuals and businesses in legal malpractice cases in Indiana. To learn more about your rights if you believe your attorney has made a mistake or failed to properly handle your case or transaction, please contact us for an initial consultation.