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New Jersey Failure to Prepare for Trial Legal Malpractice Lawyer

Inadequate Discovery Lawsuit Attorney throughout all of New Jersey

Types of Legal Malpractice: Failure to Prepare

It has often been said that having a good lawyer is more important than having a good case. But what makes a good lawyer? For the most part, a good lawyer is one who is well-prepared in all he or she does. Whether it is writing a legal document or preparing for trial, he or she listens and understands the client's needs and goals.

Inadequate Discovery and Investigation

When an attorney fails to prepare for trial and do adequate pretrial discovery, the case is usually lost — or at least substantially harmed. “Pretrial discovery” involves hard work. A good investigation involves many things:

  • Finding witnesses
  • Reading all the relevant documents
  • Hiring experts
  • Producing expert reports

Pretrial discovery must be completed on time. In September, 2000, the New Jersey Supreme Court gave us new rules which are tough on attorneys who don't get their work done on time. There is little forgiveness, and a lawyer who misses a deadline may have wrecked a case.

Being Unprepared for Trial

Most cases settle without a trial. So, sometimes attorneys get lazy, expecting a case to settle, and completely fail to prepare for trial. Other times, the lawyer has not prepared the case well enough — and this is known — so the settlement offer made is very low. Your attorney may argue that a low offer is a good one, but you may not want to accept the low settlement.

In these circumstances, some lawyers try to force a settlement upon their clients. This complaint — that the lawyer forced a settlement on his client — is one I hear very often. A lawyer's job is to give advice, not to pressure the client into a particular decision that the lawyer thinks is right. And this is especially so if the offer is low because of the lawyer’s work.

Dire consequences await lawyers unprepared for trial. Courts do not look fondly upon unprepared lawyers, and quite often they will insist that trial continue even if the lawyer is not ready or available. Winnable cases can be lost when an absent witness does not testify, or an unprepared witness does not seem credible on the stand. I have recently tried an unprepared attorney lawsuit in which I sued a defense lawyer for his legal negligence and lazy approach to a trial, causing it to be lost.

Contact Me

E-mail me [Link to Contact Us] or call me at (609) 951-0088 if you have suffered due to your attorney's failure to prepare for trial.