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For other uses, see Malpractice (disambiguation).

In the law of torts, malpractice is an "instance of negligence or incompetence on the part of a professional".[1]

Types include medical malpractice ("A doctor's failure to exercise the degree of care and skill that a physician or surgeon of the same medical specialty would use under similar circumstances") and legal malpractice ("A lawyer's failure to render professional services with the skill, prudence, and diligence that an ordinary and reasonable lawyer would use under similar circumstances.").[2]

Efforts to expand the concept of malpractice to other so-called "professional" fields like education have utterly failed. The main rationale for rejecting "educational malpractice" is that it is impossible to develop a workable standard of care for educators; most persons do not accomplish their educational objectives for external reasons beyond the educator's control; and allowing such a cause of action would enable every person who does not become rich, famous, and/or incredibly successful (i.e., the vast majority of people) to sue their teachers.[3]


  1. ^ Black's Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009), malpractice.
  2. ^ Black's Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009), malpractice.
  3. ^ Peter W. v. San Francisco Unified School Dist., 60 Cal. App. 3d 814, 817 (1976).