Legal malpractice happens when an attorney handles a case inappropriately due to negligence or with intent to harm and causes damages to a client. To win in a legal malpractice lawsuit, you will need to prove an attorney-client relationship between you and the lawyer, a breach of the duty to provide skillful and competent representation, and a financial loss.
Proving the first element requires you to show that an attorney gave or promised to give you legal advice or assistance. Usually, this relationship is created by a written contract or agreement, but it also can be implied from an attorney’s actions in connection with the client’s actions. The nature of this element could vary depending on the ethics rules of the State Bar in your state, and occasionally attorneys do contest that there was such a relationship.