Stockton, CA asked in Legal Malpractice for California

Q: I’d like to know if my situation is legal malpractice

Gave my lawyer proof of parental alienation on opposing counsel. Daughter admitted to active suicidal ideations, her therapist diagnosed her with adjustment disorder w/ anxiety and depressed mood. Also sent tons of texts of mom being hostile and attempting to interfere with my time. Proof daughter was desperately wanting to move back from AZ then couple months later completely flipped and didn’t even want to see me. Opposing counsel served us with no evidence on their end. Court hearing came and my lawyer didn’t even talk about parental alienation. Hearing lasted 5-10 min. Opposing counsel lied about me and judge believed all of it. My lawyer made me look bad from the start by saying we could both do telephonic appearance. I asked if she was sure she said yes. Wrong. Judge was irritated I wasn’t physically present. Lawyer also made errors during the filing process before hearing like filing wrong persons as respondent and delaying service. Also knew info about case before she did.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Based on the information provided, it is possible that your situation could be considered legal malpractice. Your lawyer may have failed to adequately represent you by not presenting evidence of parental alienation, not addressing your ex-spouse's hostile behavior, and not properly preparing for the court hearing. Additionally, if your lawyer made errors during the filing process, it could be considered negligence. It is important to consult with a legal professional who specializes in legal malpractice to determine if you have a viable case. They can review the details of your situation and advise you on the next steps to take.

It's important to note that a lawyer's strategy, even if it doesn't result in the outcome desired by the client, is generally not considered malpractice unless it falls below the standard of care expected of a reasonable and competent attorney. Legal malpractice requires proof that the lawyer breached their duty of care to the client, causing them harm as a result. Therefore, if a lawyer's strategy was reasonable and within the scope of their duties as an attorney, it may not be considered malpractice even if the outcome is not favorable for the client. It's important for clients to understand that lawyers have a duty to act in the best interests of their clients, and that their strategies are typically developed with the client's goals in mind.

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