We have extensive experience in the area of professional liability. Our practice area in this respect primarily involves the defense of claims against lawyers and accountants for malpractice. We have defended cases on behalf of attorneys and accountants in which claims are asserted, among others, that the professional breached the appropriate standard of care in one particular way or another. Alex Weatherby, our founding lawyer, sits on the board of Professional Liability for the State Bar of Georgia.
How do We Approach Accountant Malpractice Cases?
In Georgia accountant malpractice cases, quick action is essential.
This includes an immediate meeting with the client to gather all of the facts, circumstances and documents that are relevant to the issues involved. With that input, our accounting malpractice lawyers in Atlanta develop a detailed strategy and begin implementation.
Before litigation is filed, we work to preserve all relevant materials. We also evaluate the case fully, and attempt to negotiate a resolution.
If a resolution is not possible and a lawsuit is filed, we use all the tools of discovery to get to the bottom of the case. In a lawsuit, written discovery includes requests for production, interrogatories (questions), and requests for admissions. These written requests require that the opposing side provide us with information. Our accounting malpractice lawyers use written discovery to discover all information that the other side believes is relevant or supportive of the claims. We also send written discovery to any relevant third party.
In addition to written discovery, we work to obtain testimony on all relevant issues. This includes the parties involved. It also may include expert testimony. This would be an expert professional (like an attorney) who can provide analysis of the facts and circumstances. We have an extensive directory of accountants with enormous experience in their professions who we can call on immediately for assistance on any professional liability claim.
What are the Elements of an Atlanta Professional Malpractice Claim?
In order to be successful in a professional malpractice claim, the plaintiff must prove three things:
- (1) the existence of a professional-client relationship,
- (2) breach of the standard care, and
- (3) that the breach caused the damages claimed by the plaintiff.
The plaintiff has a burden of establishing each of these elements.
The existence of a relationship is usually straightforward. It can be established based on an engagement letter or email correspondence setting forth the agreed upon services. Sometimes, though, the relationship is harder to prove. For example, an attorney may end up owing duties to someone not technically their client if they can reasonably anticipate that the person may rely on the attorney’s advice. This can get really complex and a competent legal malpractice attorney must review the facts and circumstances.
In general, the standard of care is the same as a reasonably competent professional would exercise under the same or similar circumstances. Expert testimony is typically used to set the standard of care. Scholarly books and articles can also be used. In order to bring a malpractice case against an attorney, the plaintiff must provide an affidavit of a competent attorney pointing out that the defendant failed to exercise the proper degree of fair.
The third element requires causation, this means proving that the professional act of malpractice actually caused the damages in question. This is a key and difficult element to prove in a malpractice case.
Contact an Atlanta Accounting Malpractice Lawyer
We are experienced attorneys who have recovered millions of dollars for our clients, and we have defended Fortune 500 Companies. We are experienced Atlanta accountant malpractice lawyers:
- For defense cases, we have never had a case result in a higher resolution than our valuation.
- For plaintiff cases, we have recovered millions of dollars for injured folks. Read our case results here.