Morris County Lawyers Answer Professional Malpractice FAQ’s
Professional Malpractice Frequently Asked Questions
At Smith & Doran, P.C., we represent people who have been damaged, personally and/or professionally, by licensed professionals who acted negligently in performing their duties. For more information about professional malpractice in New Jersey, consult the frequently asked questions below. To talk to a lawyer about your specific concern, contact our office in Morristown.
What is professional malpractice?
Professional malpractice refers to negligence or misconduct by a professional person. The failure to meet a standard of care that is recognized by a profession reaches the level of malpractice when a client is injured or damaged because of error. Acts of professional malpractice may include misrepresentation, misappropriation of funds, failure to communicate offers, conflict of interest, failure to meet court deadlines, and incompetence.
What do you have to prove in a professional malpractice case?
In a professional malpractice case, you must show that the licensed professional harmed you by failing to meet the appropriate standard of care in your community. We do this by proving (1) you were a client of the professional; (2) the professional acted negligently based on the level of care, skill, and diligence commonly exercised by other members of the profession; (3) you were harmed financially; and (4) the professional’s negligence was the direct cause of that harm.
Who can be held liable for professional malpractice?
Any licensed professional can be held liable for professional malpractice, including lawyers, insurance agents, architects, and accountants. An expert witness licensed to practice in the same field can provide testimony explaining the standard of care for that profession in your community—and how the defendant failed to meet it.
What constitutes legal malpractice?
A lawyer has the duty to act with honesty, good faith, fairness, integrity, and fidelity. He or she must also possess the legal skill and knowledge that is ordinarily possessed by a member of the legal profession practicing in a given area of law. Lawyers who give improper advice, improperly prepare documents, fail to file documents, or make a faulty analysis may be charged with malpractice.
There may also be negligence in the handling of the attorney-client relationship, such as when an attorney fails to properly communicate with his or her client. In other cases, an attorney may have handled client funds inappropriately.
As lawyers, we understand our responsibilities to those who place their trust in us. When another lawyer fails to conform to standards of conduct recognized by the profession, we will work to hold him or her accountable.