Attorney Malpractice

News & Analysis as of

Mistakes Happen - How to Respond When They Do

Attorneys are human. They make mistakes. However, how an attorney responds to a mistake may be more important than the mistake itself. In the face of potential civil liability, sanctions or disciplinary proceedings, care...more

Illinois Appellate Court Reinforces Rule Providing Immunity to Attorneys for Errors in Judgment

Judgmental immunity is alive and well in Illinois. Navar v. Tribler, Orpett & Meyer, P.C., 2015 WL 6163619 (Ill. App. Ct. Oct. 19, 2015). A recent Illinois appellate court decision held that a rule affording...more

Avoiding the Upsurge in Trust, Probate and Estate Planning Malpractice

The number of lawsuits against trust, probate and estate planning attorneys has significantly increased over the last several years. Today, trust, probate and estate planing attorneys are charged with legal malpractice and...more

Illinois Claim for Aiding and Abetting Client's Breach of Fiduciary Duty Time-Barred

Brief Summary - The plaintiff, a shareholder of limited liability company (LLC), filed an action against a law firm and one of its lawyers, alleging they aided and abetted other shareholders in breaching their fiduciary...more

Federal Court Dismisses Insurance Fair Conduct Act Claims

In a rare victory for insurers, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington dismissed Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA) claims against Evanston Insurance Company. Washington’s IFCA provides a statutory...more

MA Supreme Court Issues Highly Anticipated Patent Ethics Decision

Simultaneous representation by a law firm in the prosecution of patents for two clients for similar inventions is not a per se violation of the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct. On December 23, in Chris E....more

Massachusetts Court Clears Patent Prosecutors of Malpractice Claims Arising From Representation of Clients in Same Technology Area

On December 23, 2015, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a legal malpractice suit finding that, “simultaneous representation by a law firm in the prosecution of patents for two...more

California Law Revision Commission Mulls Recommending Exception To Mediation Privilege

In This Evidentiary Privilege May Stop At The Border, I noted that Section 1119 of the California Evidence Code establishes a broad mediation privilege...more

Five Mistakes to Avoid When Facing a Legal Malpractice Claim - Whoops—Legal Malpractice Prevention

Legal malpractice claims are bad enough. Unfortunately, many attorneys respond in a way that makes them worse, transforming legal malpractice claims into litigation nightmares. A straightforward claim that might have been...more

Reduce the Risk of Malpractice Claims - Whoops - Legal Malpractice Prevention

Legal malpractice claims just keep coming. Rarely does a week go by without another article about a new high-profile legal malpractice lawsuit. Sometimes, these claims are the result of a simple mistake. Claims can arise when...more

High Noon at the Train Station: Social Media and Modern E-Discovery

Most people take time zones for granted these days, but it was this week in 1883 that railroad companies in both Canada and the United States started using four continental time zones. Until then, time was local, based on...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending October 23, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure/Documentary Stamp Tax: deferred interest on a “pick-a-payment” mortgage did not amount to future advance, which would have required payment of documentary stamp tax - Steinberg v. Wells...more

The Duty of Loyalty Lives on in New Jersey

In an interesting decision affirming the ‘old-but-not-forgotten’ principle that an employee owes his first duty of loyalty to her employer, the New Jersey Supreme Court recently affirmed a decision allowing an employer to...more

Getting Your Money Back: New Jersey Employers Can Disgorge A Disloyal Employee’s Salary

In a recent ruling, the New Jersey Supreme Court gave employers a great recourse for dealing with former employees who breach their duty of loyalty. In Bruce Kaye v. Alan P. Rosefielde, the Court allowed an employer to...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Holds That Economic Loss is Not Needed To Recoup a Former Employee’s Salary for Breach of the Duty of...

On September 22, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously gave the green light to awards of the remedy of equitable disgorgement, even in the absence of economic loss, as a fair and practical response to an employee’s...more

The Ethics of Using Public Adjusters as Expert Witnesses

Somewhere in Texas at this very moment a public adjuster is knocking on the door of a home or business owner offering to inspect the roof for wind or hail damage and assist with the submission of an insurance claim. It is...more

New Jersey Court Holds Demand Letter Is A Claim

In its recent decision in Innes v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121753 (D.N.J. Sept. 11, 2015), the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey had occasion to consider what...more

The Big Three: The 9th Circuit Joins The 6th Circuit and 7th Circuit in Holding That Sanctions For Bad-Faith Litigation Tactics...

In Law v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (2015 S.O.S. 13–56099 – filed August 27, 2015), the Ninth Circuit joined the shortlist of Circuit Courts to hold that sanctions for bad-faith litigation tactics under 28 U.S.C. section 1927...more

Whoops - Legal Malpractice Prevention - Enforcing ADR Provisions in Fee Agreements

Attorneys and law practices have been experimenting with strategies to collect unpaid client fees while limiting the risk of malpractice claims. One approach involves the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR)...more

CA Supreme Court Expands Scope of Lawyers’ Statute of Limitations to Non-Legal Malpractice Claims – Confusion Predicted for Law...

In Lee v. Hanley (S220775 – Filed 8/20/2015), the California Supreme Court clarified the meaning of Code of Civil Procedure section 340.6 by holding that its limitations period applies to claims against attorneys “whose...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions -August 2015

Insurance; Duty To Defend; Insurance Coverage; Intentional Acts; Sexual Misconduct - Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 1220, 184 Cal.Rptr.3d 394 (WL 960927) - Facts: This is an...more

Between Scylla and Charybids: The Mediation Privilege and Legal Malpractice Claims

I attended a mediation earlier this month in a real estate case. I won’t say more through because . . . well . . . it’s confidential. The confidentiality of mediations and of settlement discussions generally – the idea...more

E-mail and Telephone Call Held Sufficient to Justify Exercise of Personal Jurisdiction

In Moncrief v. Clark (H040098, filed July 21, 2015), the California Court of Appeal, Sixth District, held that an out-of-state attorney’s phone call and e-mail to a California attorney, pertaining to a deal between their...more

Out-of-State M&A Lawyer Can Be Sued In California

Many M&A transactions are negotiated across state lines.  When an out-of-state lawyer misrepresents facts in a phone call and email to a lawyer in California, do those communications render the foreign lawyer amenable to suit...more

Appellate Court Notes

- Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: - SC19305 - State v. Francis - SC19305 Dissent - State v. Francis - Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: - AC36500 - Castro V. Mortgage Lenders...more

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