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Tag Archives: legal malpractice

When Must a Lawyer Check for Conflicts of Interest?

By Robert Ross |

LAWYERS MUST RUN A CONFLICT CHECK BEFORE AGREEING TO REPRESENT A CLIENT Where a conflict of interest exists, a lawyer must: Obtain proper consents and clearances, if the conflict can be waived Refuse to represent the potential client, if the conflict cannot be waived or addressed in a way that permits representation Since this… Read More »

When Do Lawyers Have Conflicts of Interest?

By Robert Ross |

WHAT IS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST? In the context of an attorney-client relationship, a “conflict of interest” exists when a lawyer’s interests are in conflict, or are not aligned, with the interests of: The lawyer’s own client A different client the lawyer represents (or, in some situations, a client the lawyer represented in the… Read More »

What Are “Legal Services” For Purposes of the Statute of Limitations on Legal Malpractice?

By Robert Ross |

THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR LEGAL MALPRACTICE California Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.6 says that if a lawyer engages in wrongful acts (or omissions) that constitute malpractice, the injured plaintiff generally* must bring a civil action against the lawyer within the earlier of: One year after the plaintiff first discovers the facts that… Read More »

What is the Statute of Limitations on Legal Malpractice?

By Robert Ross |

WHAT IS A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS? A “statue of limitations” is a law that establishes the period during which a lawsuit or other claim can be brought against a wrongdoer. Phrased differently, a statute of limitation establishes the deadline before which a claim must be made, and a lawsuit filed. When the deadline in… Read More »

Can a Client Sue a Lawyer for Emotional Distress?

By Robert Ross |

EMOTIONAL DISTRESS DAMAGES GENERALLY ARE NOT RECOVERABLE IN LEGAL MALPRACTICE ACTIONS As a general rule, damages for legal malpractice do not include emotional distress if the client suffered only economic loss or property damages. This is because, under California law, lost property does not “naturally” lead to emotional distress. While it’s true that the… Read More »

Lawyers Must Cite the Law Correctly–And Disclose Adverse Authority

By Robert Ross |

LAWYERS MUST DISCLOSE KNOWN & CONTROLLING LEGAL AUTHORITY A lawyer’s duty of candor includes both positive and negative duties relating to legal authority. When presenting arguments and evidence to a court or other tribunal: A lawyer must: Use only means that are consistent with the truth (California Business & Professions Code Section 6068(d)) Disclose… Read More »

Lawyers Must Not Lie, or Destroy or Suppress Evidence

By Robert Ross |

A lawyer’s duty of candor impacts the way lawyers can present and handle evidence. Essentially, the duty requires lawyers to be honest, and straightforward when dealing with judges, juries, and legal proceedings. Let’s look at some of the ways this duty impacts a lawyer’s actions. LAWYERS MAY NOT MISLEAD JUDGES OR JURIES Lawyers cannot… Read More »

Can Lawyers Lie to the Court?

By Robert Ross |

Short answer: NO. LAWYERS HAVE A “DUTY OF CANDOR” TO COURTS AND OTHER TRIBUNALS When a lawyer represents a client in front of a “tribunal” (which includes not only litigation in a trial court or on appeal, but arbitration and other formal dispute resolution proceedings also) the lawyer cannot: Knowingly lie, or make false… Read More »

When is “Zealous Advocacy” Legal Malpractice?

By Robert Ross |

LAWYERS HAVE A DUTY TO REPRESENT CLIENTS ‘ZEALOUSLY” AND COMPETENTLY Lawyers have a legal duty to represent their clients “zealously” and competently. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “Zealous” as “marked by fervent partisanship for a person, a cause, or an ideal.” The Cambridge online dictionary says it means “enthusiastic and eager.” Changed to a noun, the… Read More »

When Is a Lawyer Required to Refuse a Case?

By Robert Ross |

DO LAWYERS HAVE TO ACCEPT EVERY CASE? No. In fact, in some situations, lawyers cannot accept a case or agree to represent a certain client.   LAWYERS HAVE A DUTY TO REFUSE CERTAIN CASES AND CLIENTS Various laws and ethics rules govern the cases (and clients) a lawyer can–and cannot–accept. Generally, lawyers have a duty not to… Read More »

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