Texas Legal Malpractice Lawyers
For the benefit of our clients, we have put together the following list of the most commonly asked questions and their answers.
- Can I fire my attorney? Yes. The client has the absolute right to fire their lawyer. This is true even if the fee agreement attempts to restrict this right. However, when a lawyer is discharged, the lawyer may have certain remedies and even causes of action depending on whether the termination was for good cause.
- What could happen if I fire my attorney? It depends on whether good cause existed. If a lawyer materially breaches the contract, then the client has good cause and the lawyer may even forfeit his right to any compensation. However, a lawyer still may recover in a quantum meruit action (his hourly time in the case until being fired). If there is not good cause to fire the attorney, then the lawyer may recover the full amount of his compensation. Thus, the client may be responsible for paying two lawyers.
- Are lawyers in Texas required to carry professional liability insurance? Unfortunately, no. While other states require lawyers to carry malpractice insurance, the State of Texas does not require lawyers to do so. This does not impact a client's right to pursue a legal malpractice claim, but it does create problems of collectability.
- If a lawyer has professional liability insurance, are all claims covered under such policies? Typically, no. While professional negligence and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act are generally covered, fraud and intentional misconduct may be excluded. Thus, it is important to retain an experienced legal malpractice attorney who understands these nuances.
- Is filing a grievance with the State Bar of Texas the same as a legal malpractice claim? No. The State Bar of Texas investigates and prosecutes complaints of professional misconduct against Texas licensed attorneys. However, this process is separate and apart from filing a legal malpractice claim. A grievance and the results of the grievance are typically not admissible in a legal malpractice lawsuit.
Contact Our Firm
Obviously, a website can never take the place of a face-to-face meeting with an experienced attorney, so we encourage you to contact our office to schedule a consultation. You can contact us by completing the contact form located on this website. We accept most cases on a contingent fee basis, and offer services in English and Spanish.