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Tag Archives: legal malpractice

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 »

Why Are Legal Malpractice Cases Difficult?

By Robert Ross |

Many times, non-lawyers believe that any mistake a lawyer makes is grounds for a legal malpractice claim, or that legal malpractice lawsuits should be “easy” to prove. However, in most cases, legal malpractice actions are difficult, costly, and time-consuming, for several important reasons: Not every legal loss results from malpractice. Distinguishing actionable malpractice (professional… Read More »

Who Can Sue a Lawyer For Malpractice?

By Robert Ross |

GENERALLY, AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP IS A PREREQUISITE FOR MALPRACTICE CLAIMS. Most legal malpractice claims fall under the heading of “professional negligence” and, like other forms of negligence claims, require the existence (and breach) of some duty between the parties. In most cases, the duty required to support a malpractice action springs from the existence… Read More »

What is “Judgmental Immunity” in Legal Malpractice?

By Robert Ross |

LAWYERS HAVE A DUTY TO ACT REASONABLY IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW. Generally, lawyers are expected to possess the degree of knowledge, and exercise the degree of reasonable care, that competent lawyers exercise when engaged in the practice of law. California lawyers are also supposed to know, or to discover, rules of law which can… Read More »

The Requirements For Bringing a Legal Malpractice Claim

By Robert Ross |

THE ELEMENTS OF A LEGAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM. To prevail on a legal malpractice claim, a plaintiff must prove all of the following elements, to the required degree of proof: 1.  The defendant attorney had a legally recognized duty to the plaintiff; (In addition to other things, proving this element generally includes proof of the existence of… Read More »

Who Can Be Sued For Malicious Prosecution?

By Robert Ross |

The law says that liability ultimately lies with those “responsible” for engaging in malicious prosecution. However, liability does not necessarily attach to everyone involved in the relevant legal action or proceeding. PARTIES TO LEGAL ACTIONS MAY BE HELD LIABLE FOR MALICIOUS PROSECUTION. Individuals (or entities) that unsuccessfully prosecute a legal action or engage in legal processes under inappropriate circumstances… Read More »

Certain Client Behaviors Provide a Defense to Legal Malpractice

By Robert Ross |

In some situations, the client’s conduct may provide (or contribute to) a lawyer’s defenses in a malpractice case. While “blaming the client” may feel unfair to some people (especially clients), there are situations where the client’s behavior legitimately excuses or contributes to the lawyer’s negligence in ways that create a partial (or complete) defense for… Read More »

Other Situations that Toll the Statute of Limitations on Malpractice

By Robert Ross |

In addition to the situations we’ve discussed in previous posts, California law recognizes a few additional, special situations where the statute of limitations for filing a legal malpractice action is tolled.  To briefly review before we look more closely at these situations: — A Statute of Limitations is a law (a “statute”) which limits the amount of time… Read More »

Tolling the Statute of Limitations During Continuing Representation

By Robert Ross |

GENERALLY, THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IS TOLLED FOR THE DURATION OF THE ATTORNEY’S REPRESENTATION OF THE CLIENT.* *However, some exceptions do exist, as we will discuss below. The statute of limitations on malpractice is generally tolled for the duration of the attorney’s representation of the client in the ongoing matter where the malpractice occurred…. Read More »

Tolling the Statute of Limitations on Malpractice

By Robert Ross |

WHEN DOES A CLIENT “DISCOVER” LEGAL MALPRACTICE FOR PURPOSES OF THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS? A client has “discovered” an attorney’s malpractice for statute of limitations purposes when the client knows or should have known about the lawyer’s wrongful act or omission. The client does not have to realize that the wrongful act constitutes “negligence” or “malpractice”… Read More »

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