Professional Malpractice

Malpractice refers to Negligence or misconduct by a professional person, such as a lawyer, a doctor, a dentist, or an accountant. The failure to meet a standard of care or standard of conduct that is recognized by a profession reaches the level of malpractice when a client or patient is injured or damaged because of error.

The typical malpractice suit will allege the tort of negligence by the professional. Negligence is conduct that falls below the legally established standard for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm. Under negligence law a person must violate a reasonable standard of care. Typically this has meant the customary or usual practice of members of the profession. For example, if a surgeon leaves a sponge or surgical tool inside a patient, the surgeon's carelessness violates a basic standard of care. Likewise, if an attorney fails to file a lawsuit for a client within the time limits required by law, the attorney may be charged with negligence.

This area of our practice is probably the most frustrating.  Our clients have already retained a professional to help them with a problem that is beyond their personal experience or expertise.  That is why one retains a professional.  When the client has not been properly represented the experience is often very expensive and very disappointing and now they must retain yet another professional.

Our cases have included architects, real estate agents, dentists and yes, lawyers, who have been negligent in the performance of their duties. Most often the client does not know it was their representative's fault that resulted in a less-than-expected result.  More often than not the professional does not want to go through a trial where the risk of public embarrassment will only compound their discomfort.  Mediation or arbitration is commonly required before attorneys fees may be awarded to our clients and it is important that the attorney representing a client in a professional negligence matter is experienced in these proceedings.

We protect the rights of people who have suffered injury or damages because of the negligence or carelessness of a professional.  Our office specializes in handling malpractice claims. If you have been injured because of negligence or carelessness by a professional, you want experienced legal counsel to protect your rights and help you get fair compensation for your losses.

Proving that a professional failed to live up to the standards of his or her chosen field can be difficult. You want an attorney who understands professional negligence - one who has successfully helped others in similar situations.

I have been certified by the San Francisco Bar Association as a mediator and I have represented clients in probably more than a thousand mediations and arbitrations in my career. These proceedings are less formal and certainly less costly than a trial but it remains important that a client has the best guidance for the procedure.  After all, the client once put his or her trust in the professional that is now being sued and it is often uncomfortable to now accuse the very same person in whom such trust was placed.  We will do what is best for our clients.

If you or a loved one is involved in a professional malpractice dispute, contact our office today at (415) 395-9000