Why is it Difficult to Find an Illinois Legal Malpractice Lawyer?
Illinoislawyers.com is run by attorneys who don't want to represent you. Rather, for free, we answer your questions and if needed will refer you to an independent law firm that we truly believe is the best fit for your situation. If you would like our help please contact us. It can be difficult to find an Illinois legal malpractice lawyer, but we know many firms that have a great track record with these cases.
A legal malpractice claim is difficult to prove, which is why many lawyers do not take such cases or advertise that they do. When a lawyer accepts a legal malpractice case, they are really accepting two cases. The lawyer must prove that (1) your former lawyer was negligent and (2) your case would have won but for such negligence. While many people believe they have a case, often they just have really bad service or no provable damages. Successful lawsuits are few and far between.
For example, if you assert that a lawyer lost a case through sheer sloppiness, such as failing to file documents on time you might have the makings of a case. To win the suit, however, a lawyer must show not only that the defendant was negligent, but also that he would have won the original case if he had done his job properly.
Attorneys typically do not advertise their legal malpractice work for a couple of reasons. First, some want to promote their other work such as personal injury. One successful Cook County legal malpractice law firm we know doesn't mention attorney negligence anywhere on their site, but they have successfully represented scores of clients.
Some lawyers also don't promote it is because they don't want grief from other attorneys. It's fairly hypocritical of them to do so, but it's the reality. There are about 60,000 lawyers in Illinois, however the group of lawyers who focus on suing other lawyers remains relatively small. Many attorneys resent lawyers who sue other lawyers, which dissuade many lawyers from going after their peers. Lawyers have to constantly interact with each other in court, at bar association meetings, over the phone, etc. Because lawyers generally always have to work with one another, they are less willing to handle legal malpractice claims.
Another reason why most attorneys do not take on legal malpractice cases is because payment is on a contingency basis, meaning the attorney gets a certain percentage of what you recover and gets nothing if you do not win. As stated above, it is very difficult to prove and win a legal malpractice action in Illinois. Therefore, your legal malpractice case has to have a good chance of winning and your damages have to be awfully high in order for an attorney to agree to represent you.
Attorneys will not take on legal malpractice case if there is a conflict of interest between that lawyer and the lawyer you want to sue. For example, the attorney may already be representing another attorney in the firm the attorney you wish to sue is a part of. The same attorney cannot represent one attorney in that firm while suing another attorney in that firm for legal malpractice without a conflict of interest. Attorneys must adhere to an ethical code in Illinois and many are reluctant to enter any area that may even be a shade of grey because the risks are too great, including fines, suspension and even disbarment.
Beyond all of this, you have to prove irreparable harm to win a legal malpractice case. Your attorney might have screwed up royally, but if their error can be fixed it usually kills any lawsuit against them.
Despite all of the challenges in these cases, rest assured that if your case is worth it we know plenty of attorneys that would take it on. Attorneys are business people and we can always find a good firm to take on a case if the damages justify them getting involved. If you would like our help in finding an attorney please contact us at any time.