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Legal Malpractice Archives

Conflict of interest top source of legal malpractice claims

People in California rely on attorneys to follow certain standards of care when representing them. Attorneys who fall short of the standards of care established for their practice areas might commit professional malpractice. To prove malpractice, a plaintiff needs evidence that the attorney had a duty to meet the standard of care on behalf of a client but failed to deliver services according to these standards. The plaintiff must then show that damages resulted from these specific professional failings. A survey of legal malpractice claims by a malpractice insurance broker showed that conflicts of interest were the leading source of malpractice complaints.

High-profile Hollywood malpractice claim settled

A major lawsuit between Hollywood celebrity Johnny Depp and his former legal representation was settled in California for an undisclosed amount. Depp had earlier sued his lawyers for $50 million, claiming legal malpractice. The case against the law firm emerged from Depp's previous claim against his former business representatives, TMG. Depp claimed that he had never had a clear contract with his lawyers and had paid excessive fees over years of representation. He also claimed that his lawyers had worked with TMG for their own financial benefit and contrary to the interests of Depp, their client.

Hollywood producer files legal malpractice lawsuit

The State Bar of California's Rule 1.7, which is often referred to as the "Hot Potato Rule," states that attorneys in the Golden State are not permitted to represent a client if that representation would adversely affect another client unless the affected client gives them express written consent. A Hollywood producer says that her lawyer violated this rule when taking on a production company. The producer alleges in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Oct. 18 that her attorney admitted to the conflict of interest and then dropped her as a client.

Investment firm bankruptcy returns to malpractice issue

The trustee for a defunct investment firm in California is accusing a law firm, O'Melveny and Myers, of legal malpractice. The trustee is urging a judge to set aside an arbitration award that found that the firm did not commit malpractice while it represented the investment company, Aletheia Reseach and Management. The company's estate trustee for its bankruptcy filing says that the large law firm left the investment company with millions of dollars in losses as a result of alleged errors and misconduct during its representation. In particular, the trustee alleges that joint representation of the company and its founders created a damaging conflict of interest.

Understanding the foundation of a legal malpractice lawsuit

When a California resident hires an attorney, professional behavior is expected. Mistakes happen, but when those mistakes are egregious enough, it could be the basis for a legal malpractice lawsuit. When confronted with legal mistakes, it is important to know what is and what is not legal malpractice and whether a legal filing is justified.

When is an attorney disbarred?

Whether an attorney has been cited for legal malpractice or has been reprimanded for committing a crime, he or she runs the risk of losing their license to practice law. When attorneys pass the state bar exam, they are able to practice law in that state. They also take an oath to uphold the state and federal laws of the United States and to serve their clients to the best of their abilities. A failure to do so may result in disbarment, which takes away the ability to practice law in that particular jurisdiction. 

Is denying a case considered legal malpractice?

You may assume that when you interview an attorney and decide you would like to work with him or her, the attorney’s job is to accept your case without question. If your prospective attorney decides to decline taking you on as a client, you may understandably be confused and upset. However, is it legal malpractice if an attorney refuses to accept your case? You and other California residents may want to know the answer.

My attorney missed a deadline. What now?

In accordance with California state laws, when you are preparing a case to go to court, you will have to meet plenty of deadlines. There are deadlines for when you need to have certain paperwork filed, when you have to report to court, or when information must be reported. All of these deadlines are crucial. So what happens when your lawyer misses one?

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