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How COVID-19 Could Affect Legal Malpractice

2020 has been nothing if not unpredictable. The new coronavirus has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and sickened millions of people worldwide, and the ensuing shutdowns and business closures have devastated the U.S. economy. COVID-19 has had far-reaching, surprising consequences, and if you’re suing for legal malpractice, you may be surprised to learn that you could be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

We Might See An Uptick In Malpractice Cases

The coronavirus pandemic is causing a historic recession, and there are unfortunately no signs of things getting better anytime soon. How does a struggling economy relate to legal malpractice claims? When people are left without money unexpectedly, they may become desperate to recoup it, even if that means bringing a legal malpractice lawsuit against an attorney who hasn’t acted negligently. As Law360 notes, the court system saw a significant increase in legal malpractice claims during 2008’s Great Recession.

What does this mean for you? If you have a legitimate legal malpractice claim, you shouldn’t be afraid to pursue it. Still, it’s a good idea to be aware that the courts may be inundated with similar cases that will eventually get thrown out for lack of evidence. 

Your Case Could Be Delayed Due To Coronavirus

Depending on where you’re located in the U.S., you may experience unexpected delays when bringing a legal malpractice lawsuit. Some states have suspended jury trials entirely because of COVID-19 concerns, and others require teleconferencing without in-person meetings until further notice. Due to these precautions, civil cases may take longer than they usually would. Even without the pandemic, a legal malpractice lawsuit can take years to litigate fully, so it’s important to remember that you may not see a quick result.

Lawyers Are Facing Extra Challenges

Even the most diligent attorneys are facing unprecedented litigation challenges during the pandemic. With the court system effectively closed in parts of the country and nearly everyone working from home, lawyers may encounter unexpected delays when trying to connect with other lawyers and potential witnesses. If you’re in a situation where your attorney is less responsive than usual, it’s a good idea to touch base with them to get an idea of how COVID-19 is affecting their workload and whether they see it impacting your specific case. Ideally, you’ll be able to resolve any issues before it reaches the point of legal malpractice.

If you are interested in more information about legal malpractice, contact Paulson & Nace, PLLC, through this contact form or by calling 202-463-1999.

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