Attorney Malpractice

News & Analysis as of

Illinois Court Holds That $6.5 Million Malpractice Claim Barred By Statute of Repose

Terra Foundation for American Art, et al. v. DLA Piper LLP (US), 2016 IL App (1st) 153285 - Brief Summary - Plaintiffs filed a legal malpractice action against defendant law firm that plaintiffs had retained in...more

Did You Search Your Jurors’ Social Media? There Are Rules

If you represented a large corporation or a wealthy individual, wouldn’t you want to know if your prospective jurors were campaigning for Bernie Sanders on Facebook? Or how about criminal prosecutors who might want to know if...more

The Lawyers' Lawyer Newsletter - Recent Developments in Risk Management - August 2016

Joint Clients — Confidentiality — Right to See Clients' File - New York State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics Opinion 1070 (10/9/15) - Risk Management Issue: In a joint client representation, if one...more

Is Refusal To Pay Fees A Way Out Of Arbitration?

The 9th Circuit recently allowed a claimant to proceed in court after her arbitration had been terminated due to her  failure to pay half the arbitration fees. Tillman v. Tillman, __ F.3d __, 2016 WL 3343785 (9th Cir. June...more

Plaintiff Who Could Not Afford to Pay for Arbitration Was Allowed to Pursue Her Malpractice Action in Court

Tillman adv. Rheingold Firm, No. 13-56624, 2016 BL 190432 (9th Cir. June 15, 2016) - Brief Summary - A former client who had agreed to arbitrate disputes with her lawyers, but ultimately could not afford to pay the...more

Make sure your emails don't turn into evidence

Sometimes the first notice of a legal malpractice claim is a demand or a complaint. However, attorneys or law firms often become aware of a claim through threats from the client during the course of a representation or...more

Don't wait for the new year to close old files

Most attorneys and law practices generally understand which clients are no longer clients and which matters should be closed. Although closing files is not complicated, it typically only happens if there is a concentrated...more

ALERT: New York Appellate Court Recognizes In-Firm Privilege

July 7, 2016 David P. Atkins On June 30, 2016, the New York State Appellate Division for the First Department (Manhattan) issued a significant decision on the scope of the so-called in-firm attorney-client privilege....more

The Punishing Effect of Rule 11

Federal courts correct bad litigation behavior, eventually. People take being sued personally, and lawsuits can take an emotional toll on defendants, whether as an individual or as a representative of an employer. Anger...more

Illinois Appellate Court Holds That Legal Malpractice Claim Was Barred by Six-Year Statute of Repose, and Collateral Estoppel...

Prospect Development, LLC, et al v. Donald Kreger and Schiff Hardin, 2016 IL App (1st) 150433 - Brief Summary - Plaintiff sued a lawyer and his law firm for alleged legal malpractice arising out of the collapse of a...more

What Attorneys Can Learn from History’s Largest Data Breach

On April 3, 2016, the public learned that millions of client documents from the Panamanian law firm and corporate services provider Mossack Fonseca & Co. (MF) had made their way to an international organization, the...more

Alert: Law Firms May Have Duty To Warn Clients of Possible Insurance Coverage

A recent decision by a New York State Appellate Court has again reminded law firm risk managers of a possible law firm obligation to clients, especially those recently served with a lawsuit. The Court held that defense...more

Saffer Fee Shifting and Fee Disgorgement - Who is at Risk?

Twenty years ago, in Saffer v. Willoughby, the New Jersey Supreme Court embarked on a new path for New Jersey jurisprudence by allowing a successful plaintiff in a legal malpractice action to recover as consequential damages...more

Texas Supreme Court Holds that Individual Beneficiary Had Standing to Bring a Legal Malpractice Claim Involving a Loan From an...

On May 27, 2016, the Texas Supreme Court held that an individual beneficiary of a self-directed retirement account managed by a corporate trustee had standing to bring legal malpractice claims against a law firm based on...more

New Jersey Expands Fee-Shifting in Legal Malpractice Actions to Include Non-clients

On April 26, 2016, a sharply divided New Jersey Supreme Court held that attorneys may be liable for counsel fees if they are found to have intentionally breached their fiduciary duty to non-clients. In the matter of Innes v....more

SEC Charges Attorneys Who Implemented Fraud Scheme

Two attorneys, with fiduciary duties to their clients by virtue of their role as escrow agents, served not as the protector of client funds, but enablers of a fraudulent scheme. The plot was uncovered by OCIE during an...more

Is the American Rule Dead in New Jersey?

Ok, so maybe "dead" is a bit hyperbolic, but the New Jersey Supreme Court's decision in Innes v. Marzano-Lesnevich, No. 074291, ___ N.J. _____ (N.J. Apr. 26, 2016) has raised serious questions about just how far the New...more

The Proof Is in the Password!

Consider this scenario: A young couple entrusts you, an experienced real estate attorney, to assist them in the purchase of their first home. Days before closing, your unsecured email account gets hacked and your client...more

Cybersecurity: You can't afford to ignore it anymore

In late March, newspapers confirmed that a Russian hacker named "Oleras" targeted 48 law firms (most of which are Am Law 100 firms). Oleras planned to hack these firms to secure confidential and highly valuable insider...more

The Lawyers' Lawyer Newsletter - Recent Developments in Risk Management - May 2016

Conflicts of Interest — Subject Matter Conflicts — Can IP Attorneys Simultaneously Represent Two Clients That Are Prosecuting Patents for Similar Inventions? - Maling v. Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner,...more

Beware of informal relationships and conflicts

Conflicts of interest can be complicated and risky. They can be impediments to taking on new business and can also lead to high verdicts in legal malpractice cases. Virtually all attorneys know to run conflict checks for new...more

AOL, Dropbox and the Big “uh-oh”

A New York couple brought suit against their former law firm because it used an America Online account to transact firm business. If you are my age you probably remember that AOL and “You’ve got mail!” were the future—back...more

LSREF III Wight Ltd v Gateley LLP [2016] EWCA Civ 359

The Court of Appeal has handed down judgment in LSREF III Wight Ltd v. Gateley LLP [2016] EWCA Civ 359, a case which concerned what, if any damages had been caused by solicitors' negligence and whether the claimant had failed...more

Colorado Supreme Court Upholds the "Strict Privity Rule" When Interpreting Attorney-Client Relationship

Baker v. Wood, Ris & Hames, Professional Corporation, 364 P. 3d 872 (January 16, 2016) - Brief Summary - Colorado Supreme Court, en banc, analyzed whether dissatisfied beneficiaries of a testator-client's estate...more

Trees Grow Back -- Paper Your File

Papering your file (or PDFing an electronic file) is an important, if underappreciated, method to protect both you and your clients. Regular memos to a file will help cut down time necessary to analyze a new development in...more

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