What Can I Do If I Think My Attorney Made A Mistake?

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Attorneys are professionals who rely on their education, experience, talent, and their effort to do a quality job. Unfortunately, sometimes they can make a mistake. There are two types of mistakes that can be made: ethical and professional.

Ethical Mistake

When there is an ethical mistake, you can bring an ethics complaint against the attorney through the State Bar. This is a free process, but it rarely gets the client any money back or any sort of better result. This process is similar to reporting someone for breaking a law. For this, you do not need to hire an attorney. You can if you want to.

Professional Mistake

When an attorney makes a professional mistake, this is called malpractice. Different states have different standards for how to prove malpractice. In North Carolina, in order to prove malpractice, you essentially have to show that you would have had a better outcome without the mistake made by the attorney. Certain mistakes are almost always malpractice, like missed appellate deadlines or statute of limitations that prevent your case from moving forward.

For malpractice, you need to file a lawsuit against the attorney for malpractice. Generally, this involves hiring a new attorney. Most every attorney has malpractice insurance to protect him or herself from these types of mistakes. This insurance also protects the client.

Combined Mistake

Some mistakes can amount to both ethical violations and malpractice. In these cases, you can conduct the processes simultaneously because ethical violations rarely provide monetary awards to wronged clients.


If you’d like to have more answers to frequently asked questions about business law, check out Answers From Inside: The Must-Read Business Law FAQs for Entrepreneurs, available on Amazon.

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About the Firm: Law++ was established to provide legal services to individuals and businesses in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Apex, Cary and surrounding communities with the goal of making the legal system easier to use and more personable. The attorneys at Law++ strive to provide exceptional personal service while embodying trust, accountability, and efficiency. The firm practices primarily in the areas of business law, corporate law, contract law, nonprofit law, business litigation, and mergers & acquisitions. The firm values include integrity, efficiency and quality workmanship.

Disclaimer: The Information found in our blog is for educational purposes only, and is not meant as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney. Nothing in this blog is intended to create an attorney-client relationship.
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Richard Bobholz

Richard Bobholz

Managing Attorney at Law++
Richard Bobholz works primarily with small businesses to handle their formations, contracts, employment and more complicated areas of corporate law. Richard manages the small business law and mergers & acquisitions sections of the firm. Richard invented the EasyFee and was the driving force behind the 30 Companies in 30 Days pro bono project. Throughout his work, Richard demonstrates his quality workmanship, integrity and honesty, and efficient work ethic. Richard moved to Durham, NC in 2012 and opened this firm shortly thereafter with the goal of changing the legal system for the better.