If you’ve been sued for malpractice, then contact Professional misconduct lawyers. They would help you to determine whether it is a cause for discipline or a malpractice suit. The difference between malpractice and misconduct will help you have a better understanding.
What constitutes attorney malpractice?
It is the failure to employ ordinary skill and knowledge which leads to damaging a client. The attorney has failed to employ ordinary reasonable skill and knowledge which is commonly possessed by any member of the legal profession. In breach of the duty caused by the plaintiff actual and ascertainable damage constitutes as attorney malpractice.
What constitutes attorney misconduct?
The failure to follow the rules of conduct laid down by the court in which the attorney has to practice constitutes as attorney misconduct. Any attorney found to have violated the Rules of Professional conduct could potentially face sanctions ranging from a private reprimand to a disbarment, depending on how severe the violation is.
Are malpractice and misconduct equal to each other?
The lawyer needs to exercise certain skills and care and the failure to do so may be considered as misconduct and malpractice at the same time. In some courts, the isolated mistakes have been treated as misconduct and punished according to those standards. On the other hand, courts have also said, that the isolated mistakes cannot be treated as grounds for discipline. Even when it has not been explicitly stated that the mistakes which were made by the isolated attorney should not give rise to discipline, then they do not fall under misconduct or malpractice for simple negligence. Most of the time lawyers are charged with these two along with a series of other serious violations of the Rules of Personal Conduct that might involve intentional misconduct, dishonesty, ongoing failure to communicate with clients or neglect of clients’ interests.
According to the rules for malpractice and misconduct, the severity of the discipline to impose for the violation depends upon the circumstances like the seriousness of the violation, previous violations and extenuating factors. Either the courts have declared that isolated mistakes cannot provide a base for discipline or might even decline to sanction lawyers for such mistakes. The violation of either of the rules should not work as a basis for a rise of a cause of action or even create any presumptions.
Violations can serve as a breach of the standards of ordinary care which are provided by law. These rules can be used as non-conclusive shreds of evidence that the lawyer has breached a duty which was owed to the client. A felony conviction for an opening vehicle when intoxicated does not call for a malpractice claim but needs discipline. Not all misconduct cases are malpractices and not all malpractice cases are misconduct cases.