The legal profession is one of the most closely guarded professions in the United States. Before being permitted to practice law in most states, including Florida, lawyers are required to attend an accredited law school and earn a Juris Doctor degree. Typically, this involves a minimum of three years of law school, in addition to a four-year degree from a college or university. After completing law school, Florida attorneys must then sit through a grueling two-day examination and pass a character and fitness review before they can be admitted to the state bar and be legally allowed to practice law. In addition, some attorneys take the added time to go through the intense testing and examination process of earning an extra accreditation within a specific area of the law. For example, our Palm Beach attorney has been Board Certified in Civil Trial law for nearly two decades.
The reason that the practice of law is so carefully controlled is because of its great importance to Florida citizens. Lawyers have an abundance of knowledge on complicated questions of law, including estate planning issues, tax liability questions, contract disputes, lawsuit filings and defenses, and much more. Most laypersons are unable to effectively manage their own legal affairs because they simply have not received the necessary training to do so. Therefore, they often must rely on lawyers to handle important matters in their lives.
Most attorneys handle the cases that come before them honestly, fairly, and competently. However, like with any other profession, there are always a few bad apples in the mix. When lawyers are dishonest or incompetent, the results for their clients can be devastating. In area criminal cases, Florida legal malpractice can lead to wrongful convictions, and in child custody cases, it can lead to arrangements that are not in the best interests of the children involved. In addition to incompetency, lawyers can also harm their clients in other ways, such as by stealing client funds or falsifying billing records.
When dishonest or incompetent attorneys hurt their clients' interests, a Florida legal malpractice attorney can help recover funds lost and damages incurred as a result of the attorneys' actions. Many times, lawyers who commit one act of malpractice either have or will commit more in the future. Therefore, it is helpful to know whether your lawyer can really be trusted, which is the purpose behind a newly launched website called PunishedFloridaLawyers.com. As the website address suggests, this website is dedicated to providing information about which Florida lawyers have either been disciplined by the Florida Supreme Court or been made to pay out $10,000 or more in damages as a result of a Florida lawyer malpractice suit. The website, launched just a few days ago and provides a fee-based attorney conduct reporting service for use by clients and attorneys alike.
If you suspect that your attorney has taken actions that are unethical or detrimental to your interests, do not be afraid to step up. Talk to a lawyer who has expertise on attorney malpractice in Florida, and find out what your rights are. Chances are, you are not the first victim, nor will you be the last.
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