Joe Osborne & Greg Francis, Personal Injury Lawyers & Founders of Osborne & Francis

At Osborne & Francis, we go by the saying, “Real Tough Lawyers,” because we aren’t afraid to back down from a defendant, whether it be a large corporation or an attorney who has committed malpractice. If you or a loved one hired a lawyer and were affected by their negligence, contact us at (561) 293-2600 for representation. We are the law firm Florida residents have trusted for years to handle their most sensitive issues. We’re prepared to bring justice wherever it’s needed. Legal malpractice happens when a lawyer doesn’t follow the standards they are supposed to, and their error affects their client negatively. All lawyers have a duty to follow ethical standards and rules of professional conduct. If they fail to do so, they may be sued under legal malpractice laws.

Legal malpractice can happen in basically any case, whether it be a car accident claim, defective product case, or any other type of legal claim.

When dealing with legal malpractice, it becomes necessary to secure additional legal counsel to represent you against your former lawyer. Suing a lawyer is no easy task, since lawyers are trained in the law, and they will usually fight hard to defend themselves if accused of malpractice. Read on to learn more about your rights in the event of legal malpractice.

Video Transcript

So you've been in a car accident. What happens next? There are many things that you should do but here are the three most important:

Number One: See a doctor immediately. 

A broken bone is easy to see, but some injuries are not. The most common injuries from car accidents happen in the neck, back, or head. The only way to diagnose and treat them is by seeing a doctor. A doctor can help ease the pain, provide medication, reassure you of how your injury may impact your daily life, and tell you what not to do to make it worse.

A visit to the doctor can also give you legally protected time off to recover and rest your body after an accident, and it documents and provides the evidence you may need for your case. Even a five-mile-per-hour car accident can cause a serious injury. So whether you've had a severe accident or a minor collision, see a doctor. And if you don't have medical insurance, let us know and we'll make sure that you receive the proper care. 

Number Two: Write everything down.

Even if it seems small, during times of stress or injury it is common to forget the little details. Make sure you keep note of the pain that you're in. With neck, back, and head injuries, sometimes simple activities such as walking up the stairs or picking up a toddler may cause severe pain. 

You may not be sleeping well at night. Documenting how much you sleep and how often you wake up due to pain is also very important. And lastly, if you have any cuts or bruises, take daily photos as you heal. This will provide visual evidence of the injuries that you've suffered. 

Number Three: Do not speak to an insurance company until you've spoken to a lawyer.

Please understand that the insurance adjuster works for a billion-dollar corporation and not for you. Their interests are solely for their insurance company, and their goal is to provide you with the least amount of financial settlement as quickly as possible. When you do speak with them, remember they will record the conversation. Why do they do this? Because they've been trained to ask questions that may confuse you. So talk to us before you talk to them. 

So remember: See a doctor, document everything, and call us before calling the insurance company for your free private consultation. We are here for you. Real tough lawyers fighting real tough issues.

What Are Common Examples of Legal Malpractice?

Legal malpractice can take on many forms and involve many different types of conduct. The following are examples of violations that could form the basis of a legal malpractice suit:

  • Substance abuse: For instance, if your lawyer shows up to court or a meeting with you while drunk
  • Lack of zeal: Under ethical rules, all lawyers are required to represent their clients “zealously” and to the best of their ability. If your lawyer is not taking your case seriously or is cutting corners, and it costs you, you may have a malpractice claim
  • Lying: Any acts connected with your case involving lying or deception could lead to a legal malpractice claim
  • Illegally obtaining evidence: For example, using illegal means to obtain evidence, such as hacking, stealing, breaking into the other counsel’s office, etc.
  • Breach of confidentiality: This is a big one. Once you form a formal relationship with an attorney, they are bound by the attorney-client privilege. This means that any and all communications between you and them must be kept private and confidential. For example, lawyers cannot post details about your case on their personal social media account

There are various other acts that could constitute legal malpractice. If you are unsure at all about the way your lawyer is handling your case or treating you as a client, you may need to contact a legal malpractice attorney to determine whether you have a claim. Don’t discuss these matters with the violating attorney without a new lawyer, as they may eventually be the opposition in a malpractice suit.

What Are the Four Elements of a Legal Malpractice Cause of Action?

Generally speaking, there are four elements that need to be proven in a legal malpractice case. Proving legal malpractice isn’t as simple as saying, “My attorney didn’t try hard enough to win my case.”

You would need to show that:

  1. The attorney owed you a duty of care
  2. The attorney breached their duty
  3. Their breach was the cause of your losses
  4. The losses are real, actual, and measurable

These four points are similar to elements in other professional malpractice cases, such as medical malpractice.

Proving the first point is usually the easiest, since all licensed attorneys are bound by certain duties as outlined by ethical rules and professional responsibility codes. Proving causation is usually the most difficult, as you need to show that you probably would have won your case if the lawyer had followed the correct rules.

For instance, suppose a lawyer fails to return a phone call. This might not immediately qualify for a legal malpractice claim, unless it can be proven with certainty that they would have won the case if not for the lawyer’s failure.

Legal malpractice cases can be complex and may involve several elements that all need evidence of proof at every step of the way. Bringing a case against an attorney or a law firm is itself a challenge, as you would be going against people who regularly deal with the law.

contact our office to speak to a lawyer.

do you still have questions?


What Do Damages Cover in a Legal Malpractice Case?

Damages in a legal malpractice case can cover a substantial amount of losses caused by the attorney’s negligence. While these may vary from case to case, they generally cover:

  • Financial losses stemming from the malpractice (that is, what you would have recovered if you had won your case)
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Lost wages (for instance, from missing work due to trial)
  • Emotional distress

Lastly, in cases involving extremely negligent or reckless behavior, or intentional behavior, the court may order that punitive damages be issued. These are damages intended to punish the defendant for their wrongdoing and deter them from such conduct in the future. An example of this might be in cases where the lawyer intentionally sabotaged their own case to get themselves out of representation.

What elements must be present for a legal malpractice claim?


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Quick and fair resolution to a unique case. On advice of my own attorney, I engaged Joseph Osborne of Osborne & Francis of Boca Raton, FL. Mr. Osborne had considerable experience in cases such as mine and the results showed that. Mr. Osborne and his staff were very helpful, kept me up to date, and listened to my input. The settlement was very fair as far as I am concerned.

Erica F.

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"Best personal injury attorney around, I could not be happier! I was seriously injured in a car accident and Osborne and Francis helped me through the entire process. I was blown away by how knowledgeable the staff and attorneys are at this incredible law firm. I would not hesitate to recommend this law firm to friends and family!"

T. Andrews

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“Attorneys Greg Francis and Ryan Fletcher at Osborne & Francis Law Firm represented me in my personal injury case.The defendant drew a line in the sand and was adamant on a settlement amount I was almost willing to accept. After the dust settled and the smoke cleared, we settled for 3 times that amount!!! When they say ‘Real Tough Lawyers,’ they mean it.”

C. Smith

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“I am so thankful for EVERYONE, the entire staff at Osborne & Francis Law, for mentoring me through the mediation process with my hip replacement failures. I didn't realize how MUCH pressure they relieved me of by helping me deal with the reality of this traumatic time in my life, as it was OVER so quickly with a positive result. My family is grateful to have their mom HAPPY & FOCUSED on the future, rather than worrying over what happened in the past! FAST FORWARD, we are LIVING LIFE to the fullest once again!”

E. Holland

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Dennis and the other Osborne & Francis staff were amazing! Our case was HUGE and required tender loving care. Everyone on our case did their part by putting all the puzzle pieces together. We were given step by step updates and put at ease when our nerves got the best of us. For every inquiry we made we received a timely response...You are appreciated!

J. Davis

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“I couldn’t have asked for a better lawyer/ firm — everything was done professionally exactly how I wanted. Due to COVID my personal attorney Mr. Garcia was still able to make things work in a timely manner and he never made me feel like he wasn’t working. Overall I’m happy with how my case turned out and I would recommend him and this law firm to anyone. 100% satisfied.”

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Why Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer to Handle a Legal Malpractice Case?

As mentioned, legal malpractice cases can be complex and may involve several elements that all need evidence of proof at every step of the way. Bringing a case against an attorney or a law firm is itself a challenge, as you would be going against people who regularly deal with the law.

It’s in your best interests to hire a lawyer if you feel you have been subject to legal malpractice. We at Osborne & Francis have the experience needed to handle malpractice claims. We believe everyone is entitled to proper legal representation, and that they are also entitled to recover damages when that right is violated. Contact us at (561) 293-2600 to schedule a free consultation to determine what your next steps are toward recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

What elements must be present for a legal malpractice claim?

The following elements must be proven in a legal malpractice case: First, establish that the attorney owed you a duty of care/service (like a signed contract). Next, there must be proof that the attorney violated their duty, and that their violation or breach was the cause of your losses. Finally, your losses must be quantified and measured in monetary terms.

Proving these elements requires extensive documentation, so you may need to reach out to a lawyer for help proving legal malpractice.

What is the statute of limitations for legal malpractice?

The statute of limitations for legal malpractice in the state of Florida is 2 years. That is how long you have to file a claim against an attorney or law firm for negligence. After that window closes, you may not be able to recover any compensation no matter how strong your case evidence would have been, so it’s important to act quickly.

What are some alternatives to suing for legal malpractice?

There may be various alternatives to suing for legal malpractice, such as reporting the lawyer to the relevant state disciplinary board, or hiring a new lawyer to handle your case (for instance, if the damage is not severe). Another option may be engaging in settlement negotiations or mediation to resolve the dispute (this may still require hiring a new lawyer to guide you through this process).

If you feel you may have been subject to legal malpractice, it’s important that you speak with a different attorney for advice on what your options are.

How long does a legal malpractice claim take?

Each case is different, and legal malpractice cases can take anywhere from several months to a year or longer to complete. One issue to consider is that the original claim that you hired the lawyer for might still need completion.

For instance, if you had a personal injury matter, and the case was interrupted due to legal malpractice, that original claim still needs to be resolved, which can add to the overall time. If you have any questions at all about legal malpractice and/or the underlying original claim, contact Osborne & Francis at (561) 293-2600. We work hard to ensure each client of ours is justly compensated.