A lawyer has many duties - so he can hurt many too. In the following article we would like to give you a rough overview of what this entails.
The lawyer can only demand his remuneration from and because of his legal work. But this also applies to his liability. On April 02.04.2020nd, 135, the BGH clarified with its judgment, file number IX ZR 19/XNUMX, that the legal work is to be interpreted broadly. So it doesn't just start when a mandate contract has been signed. Rather, an overall view of all circumstances is required. It is therefore possible that a lawyer has to be liable for large sums for a single phone call. And this even without the conclusion of an (explicit / written) mandate contract.
The BGH uses its own here Definition:
"The scope and content of the contractual obligations of a lawyer depend on the respective mandate and the Circumstances of the individual case. Within the limits of the assignment given to him, the lawyer is fundamentally obliged to instruct the client in a general, comprehensive and as exhaustive manner as possible. He must instruct uninformed persons about the consequences of their explanations and protect them from errors. He has to advise the client on those steps that lead to the desired goal and to prevent the occurrence of disadvantages or damage that are foreseeable and avoidable. In addition, he has to inform him about possible risks (...). "
But what exactly does this mean? We have to choose between the unlimited mandate and the limited mandate distinguish.
An “unlimited mandate” almost never occurs in practice. This would require a client to go to a lawyer and commission him (to put it in an exaggerated way) to review and regulate his entire life.
This is the classic form of a mandate contract. The client comes to the lawyer and asks him to examine a certain life issue. The BGH deduces the scope of the mandate from the presumed direction of the client's will. If, for example, a client goes to a lawyer and asks him to advise him on a planned divorce agreement, the client may not require advice on tax law - for this he would have had to go to a tax advisor (see BGH judgment of 18.10.19, Ref .: V ZR 286/18). The wording of the BGH shows that such a statement cannot be made across the board "(...) circumstances of the individual case (...)"
Whether a claim for damages can exist at all depends on the scope of the mandate. Only when the scope of the mandate is covered can the amount of damage be considered at all.