Anwaltshaftung

Attorney liability

Lawyers are not untouchable either

When we turn to a lawyer with a matter of concern, the reasons for this are manifold, often unattractive and usually require specific expertise, which cannot be accessed by a layperson in the short term. One is “at the mercy” of the competence and the action of the lawyer and must necessarily rely on the correctness of statements , their lawfulness and the experience of the commissioned lawyer. However, lawyers are only human beings and where humans act, errors happen. The reasons for this are manifold and not necessarily intentional. Errors are often due not least to the fact that laws, judgments and ordinances are becoming increasingly comprehensive and complex.

So what can be done if the lawyer involved has not fulfilled his duties and through his actions has damaged the own facts?

The basic principle is that an attorneycontract is concluded between a client and an attorney. In addition to the duty of care of the lawyer towards his client, this lawyer’s contract also includes duties to provide services in accordance with the regulations. A violation of the duty of care or a non proper provision of services can lead to a liability case for the lawyer, because a lawyer must also answer for the consequences that are connected with his actions. Accordingly, one may conclude that a client who, as a result of a legal error, has experienced disadvantagesin economicform or legal form, can enforce his claims for recovery or recourse within the scope of the attorney liability. Legally, the lawyer’s liability results from §§ 280 ff. BGB or also §§ 823 ff. BGB. However, in order for a unambiguous liability case to exist, it must be proven beyond doubt that the damage incurred was caused by the lawyer’s error. In order that any damage incurred can also be settled actually and does not exceed the means of the appointed lawyer, in Germany each lawyer is obliged within the scope of his legal practice to take out a liability insurance for the lawyer’s liability. This insurance covers liability cases and stands in for the lawyer’s mistake in the case of a justified claim. Here the client, especially in the case of larger amounts in dispute, in advance, also should seek advicefrom his lawyer as to whether the insurance policy of the attorney in charge also covers the case-specific amount. Again and again we see in our everyday work in our law firm that immense gaps in coverage are present in the selected liability insurance for attorney liability. Under certain circumstances, this may result in the client in the event of a dispute being settled only a fragment of the damage incurred by him/her. We would be happy to take your case too.

An overview of the duties of a lawyer in the context of lawyer's liability:

  • Your lawyer is obliged to inform you about all possible risks and in your
    Interest in recommending the most secure procedure.
  • Your lawyer is obliged to inform you about the chances and prospects of the respective case
  • Your lawyer is obliged to inform about any money received concerning your case
  • Your lawyer is obliged to account for running transactions (accountability)
  • Your lawyer is obliged to observe all legal time limits and to inform you accordingly
  • Your lawyer is obliged to inform the court about the existing legal situation
  • Your lawyer is obliged to clarify the complete facts of the case
  • Your legal adviser is obliged to demand all information from the client that helps to clarify the facts of the case
  • Your legal adviser is obliged to carry out a exhaustive legal examination before taking any action
  • Your lawyer is obliged to provide comprehensive legal advice and instructionto the client
  • Your lawyer is obliged to provide information on the incurring and expected costs upon request or demand

How long is the entitlement to compensation:

All claims for damages or recourse arising from a breach of duty by a lawyer must be reviewed within a period of three years . Decisive for
this period is the knowledge or grossly negligent ignorance of the existence of this claim. The three-year period expires at the end of the year in which the claim arose.

Attorney liability: How we support you in liability cases

  • Catchy independent examination of your case
  • Examination of the work of the previous attorney and/or of the previous registry
    for breach of duty or procedural error
  • negotiations with the preliminary office and/or the professional liability insurance company
  • judicial enforcement of your claims in the event of failure to reach agreement

Helpful articles on the subject of attorney liability and advisor liability:

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You will find our office at Fasolt-Strasse 7 in Munich, very close to Schloss Nymphenburg. Our team consists of highly motivated attorneys who are available for all the needs of our clients. In special cases, our law firm cooperates with selected experts to represent your interests in the best possible way.


About the author

Dr. Johannes Fiala Dr. Johannes Fiala

Dr. Johannes Fiala has been working for more than 25 years as a lawyer and attorney with his own law firm in Munich. He is intensively involved in real estate, financial law, tax and insurance law. The numerous stages of his professional career enable him to provide his clients with comprehensive advice and to act as a lawyer in the event of disputes.
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