There are countless technical mistakes a lawyer can make depending on the service being rendered. Just a few of the common mistakes a lawyer can make include:
|Failing to file or pursue a lien on a construction job||Lien lost and laborer may not be able to get paid|
|Failing to see that property is titled to a trust after trust is written and signed||Trust is worthless|
|Failing to file an answer to a lawsuit in time||Default judgment entered against client|
Sometimes the damages that arise from these technical mistakes are very easy to determine. For example, if the wrong estate plan is used, and large taxes are assessed, it will probably be fairly easy to show how much lower the taxes would have been if a better device had been used. Other times, it may be very difficult to determine how much better off the client would have been had the mistake not been made. Suppose a lawyer fails to call as a witness a friend of the defendant in a criminal case who would have testified that the defendant was with him watching the ball game, when he is accused of robbing a bank? Of course it was wrong not to call the witness, but can it be proven that the jury would have believed him and acquitted rather than convicting the defendant? These are some of the reasons why it is very difficult to determine whether you have a good legal malpractice claim, even when it is well-known that the lawyer made an error.