The Consequences of Arbitrating a Legal Malpractice Claim: Rebuilding Faith in the Legal Profession

Legal malpractice suits are a wide-spread phenomenon that negatively affects all who must address the adequacy and competency of counsel. For the client, legal malpractice is an additional dispute in need of resolution. It forces the client to pass judgment on the attorney, or firm, in whom he has placed so much trust. For the attorney, it is an unusual change in roles: being forced to assume the position of client, instead of counselor. For both parties, legal malpractice claims require additional money and time. A client who is able to obtain a favorable judgment can receive a substantial financial benefit. However, in the end the legal profession and, more importantly, society both lose. Allowing clients and attorneys to arbitrate claims of malpractice was one of the first steps toward resolving this critical issue. But as will be seen in this Note, to correct the public’s lack of faith in legal professionals, attorneys need to be given greater responsibility to prove that they can be trusted.

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