Although part of a lawyer’s responsibility includes guiding the client through the legal process, it is not the place of the lawyer to pressure a client to settle a case. A reputable lawyer should explain all available options and their consequences. However, it is the client who must ultimately decide whether to settle a case.
At Team Law, our respected legal malpractice lawyers will help you understand your legal rights if you feel pressure to settle from your lawyer. Whether you took your lawyer’s advice or not, we are here to advocate for your right to fair compensation. For over 60 years, we have been fighting to protect the rights of those who have been injured by other people’s negligence in New Jersey—including the negligence of other lawyers.
Holding negligent lawyers accountable is something we’re passionate about. In some cases, it can be beneficial for the client to settle a case. Often, the expense of a trial means that the client will end up in a better position by accepting a settlement. Regardless, it is not the lawyer’s position to pressure a client into a settlement.
To determine whether your case is actionable as a legal malpractice claim, you need a strong and experienced lawyer to evaluate your case. Even if your claim for legal malpractice is weak, our talented lawyers can help you explore options to avoid settling if you aren’t satisfied with the offer. To learn more about our practice, schedule a free case evaluation with our New Jersey legal malpractice lawyers today.
A case settlement is a formal resolution of your claim outside of the court system. While your case will not be heard by a judge or jury if you accept the settlement, settlement is final and binding. In the civil context, that means the client accepts a certain sum of money and cannot later go back and argue that the defendant owes additional compensation.
Settlements can be valuable to both parties because:
Potential benefits aside, sometimes a final settlement offer does not reflect the compensation that the plaintiff really deserves. The plaintiff may also have more at stake in the case—they may wish to see the defendant held accountable in a more public forum, for example. Your lawyer should always be ready to pursue a case through to trial if necessary—even if the lawyer thinks the settlement offer on the table is the highest award you will receive.
Unfortunately, lawyers don’t always do the right thing. Your lawyer may pressure you to settle for any number of reasons, including because:
At Team Law, we understand how your lawyer’s pressure to settle might make you feel. In many cases, clients agree to settle based on their lawyer’s pressure because they respect that their lawyer has more legal knowledge. Later, they may find themselves questioning their decision.
Legal malpractice claims are based on answering “yes” to the following questions:
Pressuring a client to settle is something that a good lawyer should never do. If you were pressured to settle, your lawyer was likely not acting in your best interest and violated the attorney-client relationship.
If your lawyer has pressured you to settle or you believe you settled because of undue pressure from your lawyer, know that you have rights. Schedule a free case review with the experienced New Jersey legal malpractice lawyers at Team Law to learn more today. You can call our office or fill out our online contact form.
This is a complication that often arises in lawyer malpractice cases. We have to show that the outcome would have been different if your lawyer had not pressured you to settle. At Team Law, our lawyers also have experience handling the types of underlying legal issues that were probably involved in your case. We will independently review your case to determine the likelihood of success. We can work with our own experts to approximate your case value and compare that value to your settlement award. If your motives were also non-financial, we can also argue that you suffered a more subjective, emotional harm.
Yes. Our lawyers can also evaluate your ongoing case to provide a “second opinion” as to the pros and cons of settlement. If accepting the settlement is not in your best interest, we can explore options to help you change legal representation (in other words, you can fire the lawyer who pressured you to settle).
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