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Recent Blog Posts

The Importance of Causation in Legal Malpractice

By Robert Ross |

CAUSATION IS ONE OF THE ELEMENTS OF A LEGAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM The elements of a prima facie claim for legal malpractice are: — the existence of a duty; — the breach of that duty; — damages (suffered by the claimant); and — causation (specifically, the breach of the relevant duty must be the cause of… Read More »

When Has a Lawyer Breached His or Her Legal Duty of Care?

By Robert Ross |

HOW DOES BREACH OF DUTY RELATE TO LEGAL MALPRACTICE? Legal malpractice (also called professional negligence) involves a lawyer’s breach (violation) of a legally mandated duty of care. Specifically, a breach of the professional standard of care that is applicable to the relevant situation. When evaluating a lawyer’s potential breach of duty, the issue is whether the… Read More »

Who Can Sue a Lawyer for Malpractice?

By Robert Ross |

GENERALLY, ONLY CLIENTS CAN SUE A LAWYER FOR MALPRACTICE In California, the general rule is that privity of contract (i.e., a contractual relationship) is a required element of standing to bring a malpractice claim. Put another way, only clients (generally, former clients) can usually bring malpractice claims against lawyers in California. The necessary privity of… Read More »

Understanding the Scope of Representation

By Robert Ross |

WHAT IS THE “SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION”? The phrase “scope of representation” refers to the boundaries of the attorney-client relationship. More specifically, the “scope of representation” is the set of matters for which the attorney has agreed to represent the client. In most cases, an attorney’s representation of a client is limited in scope, and… Read More »

Who Does Insurance Defense Counsel Really Represent?

By Robert Ross |

WHAT IS “INSURANCE DEFENSE COUNSEL”? Insurance defense counsel is the term for a lawyer hired by an insurance company to defend a lawsuit (or other legal claim) against an insured person or entity (the “Insured”). Generally, the insurance company has the right to choose (and the obligation to pay the fees of) the lawyer… Read More »

What is Legal Malpractice?

By Robert Ross |

WHAT IS “LEGAL MALPRACTICE”? The term “legal malpractice” refers to the professional negligence of an attorney within an attorney-client relationship. Less formally, “legal malpractice” occurs when an attorney acts negligently in the course of representing a client. It is a form of negligence, which is a tort (a “civil wrong”). Strictly speaking, legal malpractice is… Read More »

Legal Malpractice FAQ

By Robert Ross |

Here are some commonly-asked questions (and answers) about legal malpractice:*   Q: WHAT IS LEGAL MALPRACTICE? A: “legal malpractice” is the term for professional negligence committed by an lawyer. Less formally, “legal malpractice” occurs when a lawyer commits negligence in the course of representing a client.   Q: IS LEGAL MALPRACTICE A CRIME? A:… Read More »

Is a Foreign Legal Consultant the Same as Pro Hac Vice Counsel?

By Robert Ross |

ADMISSION PRO HAC VICE IS DIFFERENT FROM CERTIFICATION AS A FOREIGN LEGAL CONSULTANT Pro hac vice admission grants a non-California lawyer (in good standing) permission to appear before a California court. In essence, admission pro hac vice allows a lawyer to represent clients in the same manner as a California-licensed attorney for purposes of the… Read More »

FAQ: Pro Hac Vice Admission in California

By Robert Ross |

The following are some common questions (and answers) about Pro Hac Vice Admission in California. Q: Do you have to be a lawyer to be admitted pro hac vice? A: Yes. Only attorneys who meet the qualifications are eligible for pro hac vice admission. Non-lawyers cannot be admitted to represent clients or appear pro hac… Read More »

Can California Courts Sanction Pro Hac Vice Counsel?

By Robert Ross |

CALIFORNIA COURTS HAVE AUTHORITY TO SANCTION PRO HAC VICE COUNSEL Pro hac vice admission is a process by which out-of-state attorneys (i.e., those licensed in other U.S. states, but not in California) may appear and represent clients in California courts. Attorneys who meet and comply with the requirements for pro hac vice admission can… Read More »

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