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Tag Archives: malpractice

What Is the Lawyer’s Duty to Communicate With Clients?

By Robert Ross |

CALIFORNIA ATTORNEYS MUST ACT WITH COMPETENCE. In California, “competent” representation of clients generally means that an attorney must act with reasonable diligence, exercise reasonable learning and skill, and demonstrate reasonable mental, physical, and emotional ability to represent clients. Although the specific requirements involved in competent representation of a client can vary, and determining whether or not an attorney… Read More »

Clients Cannot Waive an Attorney’s Competence

By Robert Ross |

UNDER CALIFORNIA LAW, ATTORNEYS HAVE A DUTY TO REPRESENT CLIENTS WITH REASONABLE COMPETENCE. Although the California State Bar Act does not specifically state that attorneys must act “competently,” California Business and Professions Code Section 6068 enumerates the obligations of California attorneys. Taken together, these obligations paint a portrait of responsible representation of clients by California lawyers. When… Read More »

Who Can Practice Law in California?

By Robert Ross |

ONLY ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE CALIFORNIA BAR CAN PRACTICE LAW IN CALIFORNIA LEGALLY. The California Business and Professions Code states that “[No] person shall practice law in California unless the person is an active member of the State Bar.” (Bus & Prof Code § 6125) This means that only lawyers who possess an “active” California… Read More »

Is it Malpractice When a Lawyer Lies?

By Robert Ross |

An old joke asks, “How can you tell if a lawyer is lying?” The answer: “His lips are moving.” Lawyers have acquired a bad (and often undeserved) reputation for falsehoods, in part due to misbehavior and in part due to the lawyer’s legal and ethical obligations to represent clients zealously–an obligation that often requires attorneys… Read More »

Malpractice Liability to Non-Clients in Situations Involving Foreseeable Harm

By Robert Ross |

Although as a general rule attorneys have no legally recognized duty (and thus, have no liability for malpractice) to non-client plaintiffs, California law does recognize an exception where the foreseeability of harm to a non-client outweighs “other policy considerations”–including the rule that attorneys should not be liable for malpractice in the absence of an attorney-client relationship. Whether or… Read More »

When Can Heirs of an Estate Sue Lawyers for Malpractice?

By Robert Ross |

“INTENDED BENEFICIARIES” OF A LAWYER’S SERVICES MAY HAVE STANDING TO BRING MALPRACTICE CLAIMS. In California, the existence of an attorney-client relationship is generally required in order to bring a malpractice claim against a lawyer. This means that in most cases, non-clients cannot sue a lawyer for malpractice. However, California recognizes an exception to this rule… 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 »

When Has a Lawyer Committed Malpractice?

By Robert Ross |

WHAT IS LEGAL MALPRACTICE? Legal malpractice–sometimes also known as “professional negligence”–occurs when a lawyer engages in negligence, breach of contract, or breach of a fiduciary duty, and the lawyer’s actions (or failure to act) results in damages (harm) to another person — usually a client. Not all mistakes by lawyers rise to the level… Read More »

When Can Plaintiffs Recover Damages For Nuisance?

By Robert Ross |

Legally actionable nuisances require more than merely conduct that a homeowner, renter, or occupant of property finds “annoying” or irritating. The law establishes a test for actionable nuisances that spells out precisely what a homeowner (or plaintiff with an interest in real property impacted by the nuisance) must prove in order to obtain a… Read More »

“Special Relationships” in Negligence: Businesses and Doctors

By Robert Ross |

By law, the existence of a “special relationship” can create a duty for businesses and individuals to behave in a certain manner toward others, including (but not limited to) their customers and clients.  Whether you own a business or were injured due to someone else’s negligence, it’s important to understand when and how these legally-recognized “special relationships”… Read More »

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