Recent case addresses legal-mal plaintiff's burden to prove causation

November 13, 2012
Fulton County Daily Report

During 2012, Georgia appellate courts have addressed some important issues for Georgia attorneys. Notwithstanding the flurry of appellate activity, the three basic elements of a legal malpractice claim remain the same:

(1) a duty (i.e., an attorney-client relationship—either express or implied, or foreseeable reliance);

(2) a breach (i.e., the attorney failed to exercise ordinary care, skill and diligence commonly possessed and exercised in Georgia); and

(3) proximately caused damages from the breach.

One without the other two is not legal malpractice in Georgia. Thus, not every mistake is legal malpractice, and not every client's damage is a basis for a legal malpractice action. Instead, a viable legal malpractice action only occurs when all three exist.

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