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legal malpractice and negligence

Legal malpractice is generally the term for an attorney’s negligence when the attorney’s work or representation of the client is below the standard or duty of care for what a reasonable, prudent attorney would have done in the same or similar circumstances. Attorneys also owe their clients fiduciary duties, including the duty of loyalty. Legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty claims against attorneys are based on state law and vary from state to state.

In Texas, legal malpractice occurs when an attorney fails to perform their legal duties to the standard expected of a competent attorney under similar circumstances, resulting in harm to the client. This standard is known as the duty of care. To establish a legal malpractice claim in Texas, a client must typically prove that the attorney owed a duty to the client, the attorney breached that duty, the breach was the proximate cause of the client's damages, and actual damages occurred. Texas attorneys also owe fiduciary duties to their clients, which include the duty of loyalty, meaning they must act in the best interests of their clients and avoid conflicts of interest. Breach of fiduciary duty may lead to separate claims from legal malpractice. These claims are governed by Texas state law, and the specifics can vary based on the details of each case and evolving case law.

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