Lawyers will frequently seek to conceal their mistakes from their clients. Many clients feel that concealment alone is enough to win a case. It is not. Concealment is most helpful to a client’s malpractice case when the concealment made the client’s damages worse.
An example of this would be when a client had an opportunity to prevent or minimize the damage done by the lawyer’s malpractice, but missed the opportunity to take measures which would have prevented further damage, because the lawyer was concealing his or her mistakes. While concealment arises all the time, this set of facts occurs only occasionally. The Entrekin Law Firm has handled just a few cases with a fact pattern like this.
However, concealment can also be helpful to a legal malpractice case if the defendant lawyer is disputing the fact that he or she committed malpractice. There is a long line of cases that hold concealment is strong, if not conclusive, evidence that the lawyer believed they did commit malpractice – lawyers generally do not try to hide their triumphs. If there is credible evidence the lawyer concealed the alleged error, it will be hard for the lawyer to argue that it was not an error.
Concealment also becomes an issue when a lawyer tries to hide some other misconduct or actionable behavior, such as a conflict of interest.