Choosing a lawyer to protect your interests is always a difficult undertaking. Most clients have little experience navigating the legal system and rely heavily on their lawyer for guidance. You have to trust your lawyer with detailed personal information, as well as your future financial wellbeing—and even your freedom, in criminal cases.
When your lawyer violates that trust by committing an ethics violation, New Jersey law gives you the legal right to hold that lawyer accountable. At Team Law, our respected legal malpractice lawyers have a collective 60-plus years’ worth of experience advocating for clients who have been hurt by their lawyer’s misconduct.
Not only can your lawyer be disbarred for certain ethics violations in New Jersey, but you may have the right to financial compensation or a refund of your fees. Our lawyers have high standards for our professional conduct—and we expect our colleagues to live up to those same standards.
If you believe your lawyer violated the New Jersey rules of professional conduct, speak with our experienced legal malpractice lawyers today. We can help you understand the potential remedies to hold your former lawyer accountable for his or her ethics violation.
Clients are not permitted to sue their lawyer simply because they were dissatisfied with the outcome of their case. They must also show that the lawyer was somehow negligent in causing that bad outcome—or that a better outcome would have been possible absent the ethics violation. A lawyer may commit an ethics violation when the lawyer:
To recover financial compensation for the harm you have suffered, we may sue the lawyer in civil court. In most cases, this requires expert legal advice because we must both prove our ethics violation claim and show how it would have impacted the outcome of your underlying case.
At Team Law, we know that many clients shy away from accusing their lawyer of committing an ethics violation. It can be intimidating to go up against a trained lawyer—and the process for holding the lawyer accountable is detailed and complex. Our lawyers are here to help every step of the way. To learn more about our practice, call or contact our office in New Jersey today.
Legal ethics are important because clients must be able to trust their lawyers. The New Jersey legal system provides detailed procedures that can be used to discipline a lawyer who commits an ethics violation. Possible remedies may include:
To begin the process of pursuing your right to hold a lawyer accountable in a legal ethics violation case, we can file a complaint with the Office of Attorney Ethics in New Jersey. An investigator will be assigned to determine whether your ethics violation claim should proceed—in other words, whether we have sufficient evidence to pursue a claim against your lawyer. This process can result in disciplinary action against the lawyer—but will not result in financial compensation. To recover financial compensation, we generally will file a separate civil lawsuit in court.
The New Jersey State Bar Association also handles certain disputes involving legal ethics violations, including ethics violations involving fee disputes. Your lawyer may be subject to discipline and may even have to refund your fees based on the NJSBA findings.
If you suspect that your lawyer violated the New Jersey legal ethics rules, the experienced lawyers at Team Law will help explore every alternative for taking action to hold that lawyer accountable. You have the right to be able to trust in your lawyer’s ethics—and we are passionate about protecting that right. To schedule a free case review, you can call our office or fill out this online contact form.
You can file a claim with the Office of Attorney Ethics if your claim is still pending. However, the director has discretion whether to pursue disciplinary action while the litigation remains pending. If the evidence clearly supports the ethics violation claim or there is a threat of substantial harm to the public, the investigation can proceed even when your case is pending.
First, you should remain calm—threatening your lawyer with a lawsuit will likely only make matters worse, especially if the lawyer is still representing you. You should consult with another lawyer who can help evaluate the situation as soon as possible (most lawyers, including Team Law’s legal malpractice lawyers, offer a free consultation). Our lawyers can help you obtain a copy of your file. We can discuss options for firing your lawyer and helping you proceed with the underlying claim. We can also explain how to report your lawyer’s ethics violations to protect future parties.
Most lawyers carry legal malpractice insurance for just this reason. In other cases, the lawyer could be required to pay out-of-pocket (especially if the malpractice insurance is insufficient).
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