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Tag Archives: damages

What Are Compensatory Damages?

By Robert Ross |

COMPENSATORY DAMAGES ARE THE STANDARD RECOVERY IN NEGLIGENCE CASES As the name suggests, compensatory damages are intended to compensate the plaintiff for the injuries and/or damage (s)he suffered as a result of the defendant’s negligent acts. Plaintiffs must suffer actual, measurable harm in order to recover damages. “Nominal” damages–meaning damages too small for economic measurement,… Read More »

Who Is Legally Liable For Dangerous Conditions on Property?

By Robert Ross |

PREMISES LIABILITY LAW DOES NOT APPLY ONLY TO OWNERS OF PROPERTY. Premises liability law creates duties, rights, and remedies relating to real property and improvements on real property, like buildings, recreational equipment (e.g., swimming pools), and certain kinds of landscaping. The potential liability associated with premises liability applies to any person (including corporations and other legal… Read More »

Compensatory Damages in Malicious Prosecution Actions

By Robert Ross |

WHAT ARE COMPENSATORY DAMAGES? Compensatory damages are damages designed to make the plaintiff “whole.” Put another way, compensatory damages attempt to compensate the plaintiff–to “pay back” the damages the plaintiff has incurred as a result of the defendant’s wrongful conduct. Generally speaking, only prevailing plaintiffs are able to recover damages. This means the plaintiff must… Read More »

What is Negligence?

By Robert Ross |

NEGLIGENCE INVOLVES A BREACH OF DUTY THAT RESULTS IN INJURY. When people (or, in proper circumstances, entities like corporations) fail to comply with their legal duties, and someone is injured as a result of that failure, negligence law provides the framework within which courts (and individuals) determine whether or not the wrongdoer will be held liable and… Read More »

Understanding the Statute of Limitations in Legal Malpractice Cases (Part 1)

By Robert Ross |

WHAT IS A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS? A statute of limitations is a law (a “statute”) that limits the amount of time a plaintiff has to bring a legal claim against a defendant. In cases involving legal malpractice (professional negligence) the statute of limitations controls how much time the allegedly injured plaintiff has to bring a case… Read More »

Emotional Distress in Legal Malpractice Cases

By Robert Ross |

EMOTIONAL DISTRESS DAMAGES ARE NOT NORMALLY AVAILABLE IN LEGAL MALPRACTICE ACTIONS Some lawsuits, and some types of claims, allow a plaintiff to recover (or attempt to recover) damages to compensate for emotional distress (and resulting injuries) suffered as a result of a defendant’s wrongful conduct. The general rule in California is that damages for… Read More »

Understanding Damages in Legal Malpratice Cases (Part 1)

By Robert Ross |

DAMAGES ARE A MANDATORY ELEMENT OF A PLAINTIFF’S CLAIM FOR LEGAL MALPRACTICE. If the plaintiff cannot demonstrate that (s)he has actually suffered damage (as a result of the attorney’s breach of a legally recognized duty), the plaintiff cannot prevail, even if the attorney did actually breach a legally recognized duty to the plaintiff. This is true… Read More »

When Has a Plaintiff Suffered “Actual Injury” to Trigger the Statute of Limitations on Legal Malpractice?

By Robert Ross |

In Monday’s post, we discussed “tolling” of the statute of limitations on legal malpractice actions. In the legal malpractice context, the “statute of limitations” refers to the time within which a plaintiff must commence a legal action against the defendant attorney. Under some circumstances, this limitations period is “tolled,” or suspended, until a specified… Read More »

Damages in Legal Malpractice: How Much Must a Client Suffer to Prevail?

By Robert Ross |

Damages are a mandatory element of a legal malpractice claim. This means that unless the plaintiff suffers actual damages, (s)he cannot prevail and obtain a judgment against an attorney for malpractice. In fact, if it’s clear no damage resulted from the attorney’s professional negligence, the court will dismiss a malpractice lawsuit before trial. HOW… Read More »

Damages in Attorney Malpractice: What Must A (Former) Client Prove?

By Robert Ross |

Damages are a mandatory element of a legal malpractice action. If the plaintiff has not incurred demonstrable damages as a result of an attorney’s wrongful conduct, the malpractice claim cannot prevail. Although it seems unfair to some people, “mere” breach of a professional duty–without measurable damages–does not create a legal malpractice claim. Nominal damages… Read More »

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