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Phoenix Legal Malpractice Lawyer

The Phoenix legal malpractice attorney team at The Entrekin Law Firm are here to represent you if your lawyer fails to act as a reasonable attorney.

The number of legal malpractice cases filed in Arizona has increased exponentially during the last decade. The real estate crash arising from the Great Recession hit Arizona especially hard and thereafter, numerous financial institutions, developers, agents and speculators began suing their attorneys. A majority of these cases have been concentrated in Phoenix and throughout Maricopa County. The wave of litigation has never really subsided. Luckily the Phoenix legal malpractice attorney team at The Entrekin Law Firm are here to represent you. Call them in Phoenix at (800) 955-3457 about your case today!

Arizona Legal Malpractice Attorneys – Free Consultations!

Whatever type of litigation malpractice you suffered, Lance Entrekin and his team at The Entrekin Law Firm are ready to represent you! We have 2 conveniently offices in Arizona, located in Phoenix and Tucson. Or we can come to you! Contact us for a free complimentary initial consultation.

What is Considered Legal Malpractice?

Legal malpractice occurs when your attorney (not the opposing attorney) fails to act as a reasonable attorney would under the same or similar circumstances and this failure causes you economic damages that would not have occurred, but for the failure. An example of this would be a conflict of interest in representation that was ignored or overlooked.

In order to prove causation, legal malpractice attorneys in Arizona must sometimes prove what the outcome of the underlying case would have been if it had been handled properly.  This is called “the case within a case.”

Breach of Fiduciary Duty in Arizona

A second theory of recovery against attorneys in Phoenix is a breach of fiduciary duty. Your attorney must take all reasonable steps to safeguard your interests while acting as your attorney and honor confidences. If the wrongful act by the attorney was not caused purely by a want of care, this could be construed as a breach of fiduciary duty. Breach of fiduciary duty usually occurs when a defendant attorney breaches duties of loyalty and confidentiality to the client. Cecala v. Newman, 532 F. Supp.2d 1118 (D. Ariz. 2007).

Fiduciary duty case breaches are common in Phoenix and Tucson, less so in the rural counties. The most common circumstances under which breaches of fiduciary duty occur are fee disputes with the client, sexual relations with the client which arose during representation, doing business deals with the client and conflicts of interest between clients.

Breach of fiduciary duty claims usually do not involve a mistake, they involve an attorney deliberately putting their interests ahead of yours or a blatant conflict of interest.

An example would be the attorney buying property from a financially distressed client, not referring the client to another attorney for advice and then selling the property for a big profit.

Phoenix Breach of Contract Cases

Many people think that breach of contract claims against attorneys by their clients would be common, but they are extremely rare. Under Arizona law, a plaintiff may not sue their attorney for breach of contract arising from acts performed while the attorney client relationship was in effect, unless the contract specifically calls for the attorney to do a specific act that would not be a part of their normal duties as an attorney, there was total non performance of the specific act and the non performance caused damages. RTC v. Western Tech., 179 Ariz. 195, 199, 877 P.2d 294 (Ariz. App. 1994); Collins v. Miller & Miller, 189 Ariz. 387, 395, 943 P.2d 747 (Ariz. App. 1996).

Legal Malpractice as Negligence

By far the most common theory asserted by Arizona legal malpractice plaintiffs is negligence. A negligence claim in Arizona essentially alleges that the lawyer failed to operate as carefully as a reasonably prudent lawyer would have done in the same or similar circumstances. Ulibarri v. Gerstenberger, 178 Ariz. 151, 163, 871 P.2d 698 (Ariz. App. 1993).

Under Arizona law, expert testimony is necessary to prove lawyer negligence in all but the most extreme cases of negligence. Arizona Revised Statute § 12-2602 requires that within forty days of filing an Answer, the plaintiff must file an affidavit from a qualified expert stating in detail how the defendant attorney was negligent and how this negligence caused the plaintiff’s damages. A failure to file an affidavit that satisfies the criteria of Arizona Revised Statute § 12-2602 can be a basis for dismissal.

What is the Statute of Limitations in Arizona?

The most common affirmative defense employed by lawyer defendants in Arizona is the statute of limitation. The Arizona statute of limitation for both negligence and breach of fiduciary duty claims is two years. Arizona Revised Statute § 12-542; Kiley v. Jennings Strouss & Salmon, 187 Ariz. 136, 139, 927 P.2d 796 (Ariz. App. 1996).

While there is sometimes a dispute over the date upon which the legal malpractice occurred, this is usually not the disputed issue. The issue is generally a question of exactly when did the plaintiff discover the malpractice? In Arizona, the two year statute starts to run when the plaintiff discovered or within the exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered the underlying negligence cause of action. Contact our statute of limitations lawyers at Entrekin Law today if your attorney’s negligence caused you to miss the statute of limitations.

Breach of Contract Cases

Breach of fiduciary duty cases are common in Phoenix and Tucson, less so in the rural counties. The most common circumstances under which breaches of fiduciary duty occur are fee disputes with the client, sexual relations with the client which arose during representation, doing business deals with the client and conflicts of interest between clients.

Many people think that breach of contract claims against attorneys by their clients would be common, but they are extremely rare. Under Arizona law, a plaintiff may not sue their attorney for breach of contract arising from acts performed while the attorney client relationship was in effect, unless the contract specifically calls for the attorney to do a specific act that would not be a part of their normal duties as an attorney, there was total non performance of the specific act and the non performance caused damages. RTC v. Western Tech., 179 Ariz. 195, 199, 877 P.2d 294 (Ariz. App. 1994); Collins v. Miller & Miller, 189 Ariz. 387, 395, 943 P.2d 747 (Ariz. App. 1996).

We work with clients nation-wide on breach of contract cases. For more information about these cases, see our main Breach of Contract page.

Arizona Legal Malpractice Attorneya

Phoenix Address:
This building is on the corner of 16th Street and Missouri Avenue just east of the AZ-51.

5343 North 16th Street #200-B
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(800) 955-3457
Click here for driving directions!

Tucson Address:
This office is within Wilmot Corporate Executive Suites located a couple blocks from the Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital.

333 North Wilmot Road, Ste. 340
Tucson, Arizona 85711
(800) 955-3457
Click here for driving directions!