San Jose Legal Malpractice Attorney for Financial Issues

Legal Malpractice Lawyer Serving San Francisco, Oakland, Silicon Valley and Fremont

Every law firm is, at its core, a business. Attorneys provide legal services in exchanges for fees. Often, the work lawyers do for their clients requires a great deal of time, which in turn may lead to high legal fees. It is important to note that a high client bill does not necessarily mean your attorney has committed malpractice. Attorneys do have strict guidelines for billing their clients. Thus, if your attorney violates these financial rules, they may have committed malpractice. In that case, you could be entitled to recover compensation through a lawsuit.

Overcharging Fees

Generally speaking, your attorney’s fees should be specified in your retainer agreement. This contract, which defines other aspects of your attorney-client relationship, will likely set forth how much you pay for legal services. Your attorney’s hourly billing rate will also be in this retainer contract. Usually, the retainer also defines how and when you will be charged. For example, your attorney may charge you for court costs, for hourly services, and for travel time. When your attorney overcharges you based on your contract, that is malpractice.

A common tactic unethical lawyers follow is charging clients exorbitant fees for small tasks, such as faxing you a document. When a lawyer tries to intentionally increase your bill by having work unnecessarily reviewed by multiple other lawyers, they may also be making unethical choices in their practice. Of course, in some cases, this type of review may be legitimate. The facts of every malpractice case are unique, and these facts determine whether your attorney inappropriately charged you.

Mishandling Your Money

The California Rules of Professional Conduct require attorneys in this state to carefully handle clients’ money. Whether the money involved includes fees you paid, or funds that you received from a judgment, your attorney must keep it separate from their own accounts. Many legal malpractice claims center around a lawyer misappropriating client funds. In some cases, the attorney might “borrow” a client’s money to pay personal bills. In other instances, the attorney may pay their salary from money being held for a client. Sometimes, money mismanagement is the result of accounting errors. However, sometimes, these actions are intentional. In either case, you may be able to file a malpractice suit against your lawyer.

When a lawyer mismanages a client’s money, intentionally or otherwise, it can negatively impact that client’s case. Money is often the focus of many legal cases. Even when it is not, you could suffer financially if your lawyer overcharges you. State law allows victims of legal malpractice to pursue financial compensation for these damages. However, these malpractice claims can be complex cases. It is important to consult with a plaintiffs’ malpractice lawyer right away.

San Jose Plaintiff’s Malpractice Lawyer Can Help

Did your lawyer overcharge you? Did he or she take money that was rightfully yours? Are you concerned that your lawyer committed malpractice? If so, contact The Law Offices of John P. Hannon II. For over 30 years, we have stood up for the rights of clients throughout the San Jose area. Our legal team is prepared to take your case to trial if needed. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation.