Is it legal malpractice for an attorney to oversell an outcome?

I often receive inquiries about whether an attorney has committed legal malpractice, because the outcome of the case was not as favorable as expected.  A woman recently wanted to know whether her divorce attorney had  committed legal malpractice, because her alimony award was only one-third of her ex-husband’s net income.  She thought that the alimony award should have been half of her ex-husband’s income.   The divorce attorney had  assured the client that, based upon the facts of her case, that she should expect to receive an alimony award between 30% to 50% of her husband’s net income.  Since the divorce attorney never promised nor guaranteed a specific result, the attorney did not commit legal malpractice based solely on the results.   Nevertheless, it is likely that the attorney oversold the client on the possibility that she would obtain the most favorable outcome.   Practice pointer for clients:  The worst case scenario predicted by the attorney may actually be your most likely outcome.



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