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Tag Archives: lawyer

Is My Lawyer My Employee?

By Robert Ross |

WHAT IS THE LEGAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A LAWYER AND A CLIENT? The attorney-client relationship is a contractual, fiduciary relationship, but the lawyer is not the client’s “employee.” Instead, the lawyer generally is an independent contractor who provides services to the client on the basis of either an express or (rarely) implied contract. Although a lawyer agrees… Read More »

Are Former Owners Liable Under Premises Liability Law?

By Robert Ross |

FORMER OWNERS ARE NOT GENERALLY LIABLE FOR HARM OCCURRING AFTER TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP OR CONTROL OF PROPERTY Generally speaking, premises liability law creates potential liability for people who own, possess, or control land at the time when an injury or damage occurs. This is true even if the hazard existed when the owner purchased… Read More »

What is a Statute of Limitations?

By Robert Ross |

STATUTES OF LIMITATION LIMIT THE TIME A PERSON HAS TO BRING A LEGAL CLAIM OR ACTION Generally speaking, the law favors certainty. For this reason, the law disfavors people being required to defend a lawsuit after too much time has expired. When lawsuits are not brought within a reasonable time, it becomes more difficult… Read More »

Understanding the Legal Difference Between Misfeasance and Nonfeasance

By Robert Ross |

A person’s legal obligations may include a duty to act (an affirmative duty to take some action), a duty to refrain from acting (a duty not to take certain actions), or both. Legal duties may also take on different characteristics in different circumstances, and may include both the duty to act affirmatively in certain situations… Read More »

Breach of Duty: Violating the Standard of Care

By Robert Ross |

NEGLIGENCE OCCURS WHEN A BREACH OF DUTY CAUSES INJURY. The existence of a duty, without more, does not create negligence liability. However, when a person violates a legally-recognized duty of care, and that breach of duty causes injury (or damage) to a person or property, negligence liability may result. WHEN HAS A PERSON BREACHED… Read More »

The Special Duties Owed by Professionals

By Robert Ross |

CALIFORNIA LAW IMPOSES A SPECIAL DUTY OF CARE ON MANY PROFESSIONALS Generally speaking, people engaged in professional occupations in California must behave not only with the standard duty of care (that of acting like a reasonable person under the circumstances) but are held to the higher standard of a reasonable professional with the learning,… Read More »

What Kind of Legal “Duty” Supports a Negligence Case?

By Robert Ross |

WITHOUT A LEGAL DUTY, THERE IS NO ACTIONABLE NEGLIGENCE. The existence of a legal duty is a fundamental element of a negligence case or claim. If the defendant did not owe a duty to the plaintiff, courts will not hold the defendant legally liable for the plaintiff’s injuries, even if the defendant was responsible for… Read More »

Emotional Distress in Legal Malpractice Actions

By Robert Ross |

DAMAGES FOR EMOTIONAL DISTRESS ARE NOT TYPICALLY RECOVERABLE IN LEGAL MALPRACTICE ACTIONS. Generally speaking, plaintiffs in legal malpractice actions cannot recover damages for emotional distress resulting from the lawyer’s negligence (malpractice). However, damages for emotional distress may be available in legal malpractice actions where the client can prove: 1. The emotional distress was severe, and… Read More »

When Does a Lawyer’s Negligence Cause Clients Harm?

By Robert Ross |

The elements of attorney malpractice (professional negligence) include a breach of duty that causes legally recognized damages to a client (or, in some cases, an eligible non-client). In order to prevail on a claim for legal malpractice, and recover damages from a negligent lawyer, the plaintiff must prove all elements of the malpractice claim … including “causation.”… Read More »

Expert Testimony in Legal Malpractice Cases

By Robert Ross |

WHEN IS EXPERT TESTIMONY REQUIRED IN MALPRACTICE CASES? Generally, expert testimony is not required in legal malpractice cases if the lawyer’s act or omission was so clearly a breach of duty and contrary to accepted standards that a jury (or judge, as trier of fact) does not require expert testimony to find malpractice. Where the… Read More »

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