Attorneys can and do commit malpractice. This article discusses legal malpractice in general, as well as an example in which our firm successfully obtained a jury verdict for thousands of dollars against Rock Island, IL lawyer Jack A. Schwartz for his malpractice and breach of contract.
Legal malpractice in general
Attorneys are obligated to properly handle legal matters, and a failure to do so can constitute malpractice. Essentially, attorney have a duty to act with proper care and diligence, so as to avoid causing harm to a client’s legal interests. In essence, a legal malpractice action involves asserting that a lawyer has failed to act as a reasonable, competent attorney would have acted, and that the failure has caused harm.
That does not mean that anytime there is a less-than-desirable outcome that there has been malpractice on the part of an attorney. Indeed, most cases will have someone who feels like they have “won” and someone who feels like they have “lost” at the end of the case, but that does not mean that there is any legal malpractice. For example, in a child custody case where both parents want primary physical care and there is no middle-ground to settle for shared physical care (such as when the parties live far apart), someone will end up with what they wanted (primary care) and someone will end up with the outcome they didn’t want (only visitation). In that example, it is a simple fact that one party will not get what they want, and that mere fact does not indicate that their lawyer malpracticed. To use an analogy, in a football game only one team can win, and the fact that a team lost doesn’t mean that the losing team’s coach did anything wrong. Instead, it takes careful analysis of the facts and the law to determine if a person’s previous lawyer has indeed committed malpractice.
At Puryear Law we have represented clients in legal malpractice actions, and have obtained multiple verdicts for thousands of dollars each against attorneys who have been found to malpractice. This includes jury and bench trial (judge only trial) verdicts. While legal malpractice is only a very small percentage of the work done by Puryear Law (less than 1%), we do not shy away from such cases as no one (not even an attorney who works in the legal system) is above the law, and no person who has been wronged should be denied the ability to properly seek justice. Towards that end, we pride ourselves on taking malpractice cases where we see merit, and declining cases where we believe that there is not merit.
A successful malpractice lawsuit against attorney Jack A. Schwartz of Rock Island, IL
On January 11, 2017 a jury in Rock Island County, Illinois returned a verdict in case 2012LM63, a legal malpractice and breach of contract lawsuit against Jack A. Schwartz. The verdict was against Jack A. Schwartz for $3,000, due to Jack A. Schwartz’s improper handling of his representation of that former client of his. The online docket for this case can be seen here.
Puryear Law P.C. and our attorneys and staff are quite pleased to help a deserving person obtain justice against Jack A. Schwartz for that legal malpractice, and in this case we provided our legal services on a pro bono (free) basis. This case is a reminder that our legal system works to provide justice.