When you retain the services of a personal injury attorney, you are putting your legal, financial, and possibly even medical future in their care. Unfortunately, attorneys are simply human, and they are just as susceptible to making mistakes as the rest of the population. While some of these errors are unintentional and readily rectified – for example, failing to file adequate copies of a document with the court – others are the result of wilful ignorance on the part of the perpetrator.
In the event that an attorney flagrantly violates legal ethics, they may be subject to severe disciplinary action, which may include losing their privilege to practise law. If you have reason to believe your attorney has committed an ethical breach, continue reading to learn about the top ten most common personal injury lawyer ethics violations to look out for – and what to do about them. Also, this information is suggested by the experienced Santa Barbara personal injury lawyers.
The Most Common Ethical Violations Committed by Personal Injury Attorneys
- Conflict of interest that has not been disclosed
- Refusing to represent a client for political or professional reasons is a kind of discrimination.
- Theft, misuse, or improper “borrowing” of customer funds are all examples of fraud.
- Clients who are fragile or incapacitated are subjected to financial or other forms of maltreatment.
- Inadequate due diligence, such as failing to file a case before the deadline,
- Disclosing information about a client’s confidential discussions
- Keeping evidence hidden or failing to provide all pertinent information
- Relationships between attorneys and their clients are sexual in nature.
What Implications Does an Ethical Violation Have on Your Case?
If you commit an ethical lapse, it may be impossible to salvage your personal injury case. It is possible that your attorney’s wrongdoing or legal malpractice may result in you receiving a lower settlement amount than you deserve, that you will lose your case, or that your case will never even make it to a court of law in the first place.
What to Do If You Have Reason to Believe Your Attorney Has Committed Fraud
Ventura personal injury lawyer have worked with a number of individuals who have suffered as a result of ineffective representation before coming to us for assistance. It is possible for some people to obtain compensation for their losses by filing a lawsuit against their attorney for legal malpractice or attorney misconduct. Cases are often classified into three categories:
- Infringement on a contract
- Breach of fiduciary responsibility
If a client wants to prove that an attorney committed legal malpractice, they must show that the attorney in issue owed them a duty of competent representation, that the professional breached that obligation, and that the breach resulted in financial loss for the client. These matters can be challenging to argue because you’re going up against an attorney in a setting where they’re most at ease – the courtroom. Instead, you might wish to think about some other options before bringing a lawsuit.
Alternatives to Retaining Yourself in an Unethical Situation
In the instance of a personal injury lawyer, they should advise you of any legal fees that may apply; their experience with your sort of case, and whether or not they have the resources to handle your case; among other things.
If you have reason to believe your lawyer is operating unethically or is negligently mishandling your case; you should examine the following alternatives: Switch Attorneys: If you are in the middle of a case and you have reason to believe that your attorney is not operating ethically, it is almost never too late to switch attorneys. In fact, you have the option of firing your attorney the day before your trial if you so desire.
Notify the State Disciplinary Board about the Attorney’s conduct: If you believe that your lawyer is not following ethical standards; you have the right to submit a complaint with the Florida Bar at any time. Sometimes the Bar will require a lawyer to reimburse you for a demonstrable financial loss; such as when the lawyer openly takes funds from your client account without notifying you.
During arbitration, a neutral third party known as the arbitrator rules over the case; hears evidence from both parties; and renders a final judgement on which fees are payable by which party to which party.