Media Legal Malpractice Attorney Discusses Suing an Attorney for Malpractice Without a Signed Agreement
As an experienced Media Legal Malpractice Attorney, I get questions all the time from clients regarding suing an attorney for malpractice without a signed agreement. In most jurisdictions including Pennsylvania you can pursue an attorney for malpractice under either a negligence tort theory or a contract theory. The question of whether you had a signed attorney/client agreement becomes important, but in all honesty it’s actually not that important. You can create an attorney/client relationship not necessarily through a signed document but through an oral agreement. That might skirt the rules of ethics, which do require lawyers to put their engagements in writing, but that’s a mark on the lawyer. That’s not a mark on you. It certainly doesn’t preclude you from being able to bring your case.
That being said, in all instances if you’re potentially looking into hiring a lawyer, I would suggest and advise that you definitely have the terms of the engagement reduced to writing. A lot of times when we have malpractice cases the plaintiff sues an attorney saying you failed to represent me in this particular engagement. What the defendant attorney does is argue that I didn’t represent you in that capacity; I represented you in this capacity. If everything is clearly written down, that defense is no longer available.
If you have any questions regarding separating from your business partner with a shareholder’s agreement, please contact our Media Legal Malpractice Attorneys for a free case evaluation.