Based in Columbia, South Carolina, our team at Rikard & Protopapas, LLC handles Legal Malpractice cases throughout the state of South Carolina, regionally, and nationally.
Legal malpractice occurs when an attorney causes harm to his or her client through the attorney’s negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, or breach of contract during the course of representation. In order to prevail in a cause of action for legal malpractice in South Carolina, the plaintiff must prove: (1) the existence of an attorney-client relationship; (2) a breach of duty by the attorney; (3) damage to the client; and (4) proximate cause of the client’s damages by the breach.
A plaintiff in a legal malpractice action in South Carolina must establish this standard of care by expert testimony. All Professionals such as attorneys, doctors, accountants, financial advisors, pharmacists, and others who engage in any type of “professional practice” must meet certain minimum standards of care regarding how they operate, engage in their business, and provide services to their clients. When a professional’s negligence or breach of a recognized standard of care causes a client to suffer injury or harm, the professional can be held accountable to the injured person, client or business.
As with any legal case, there are important time periods in which to act and it is imperative that you move quickly to protect your rights by securing important documents, pictures, or other evidence such as medical records, contracts, bank statements, or emails. These cases can be incredibly challenging, are high-stakes, and often very complex. For example, usually in legal malpractice cases, you will have to prove a “case within the case.” This means that you must show that in the underlying case, but for the negligence of your lawyer, you would have been successful in your case.
Rydde v. Morris, 381 S.C. 643, 646, 675 S.E.2d 431, 433 (2009). “In South Carolina, attorneys are required to render services with the degree of skill, care, knowledge, and judgment usually possessed and exercised by members of the profession,” Holy Loch Distribs., Inc. v. Hitchcock, 340 S.C. 20, 26, 531 S.E.2d 282, 285 (2000), and “[t]he standard to be applied in determining legal malpractice issues is statewide,” Smith v. Haynsworth, Marion, McKay & Geurard, 322 S.C. 433, 437-38, 472 S.E.2d 612, 614 (1996).
The attorneys at Rikard & Protopapas, LLC have vast experience in litigating Legal Malpractice Cases. You deserve to have an attorney that understands the process, the litigation, and the seriousness of these issues affecting your life. If you believe that you or your family has a Professional Negligence Case, please contact the team at Rikard & Protopapas, LLC to have your case evaluated.