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Los Angeles Professional Malpractice Law Blog

Novel response to attorney disbarment: reemerge with new identity

California has legions of attorneys. Their client advocacy spans every conceivable practice area, and they are present and active in every corner of the state.

Given the scores of thousands of practicing lawyers, it stands to reason that their collective range of competency varies greatly and across a wide continuum. Some attorneys are paragons of skill and virtue, painstakingly promoting their clients’ best interests at every moment. Understandably, every California resident with a legal need wants one of those.

Spotlight on legal industry’s “impairment problem,” Part 2

It is far from a secret that the legal profession in California and nationally, like other professional groups, has its fair share of work-linked stressors. Deadlines abound in law. Motions need to be filed. Court dates are always looming. Relevant law needs to be found and successfully applied to a client’s case.

Superhuman effort is not expected for any attorney going about those tasks, notwithstanding what some busy practitioners occasionally assert and grouse about. Clients might sometimes be demanding, but they are also realists.

Focus on a downplayed problem that adversely affects legal clients

A recent national article on law and lawyers makes a number of pointed commentaries on the legal profession. At its core, though, it is essentially a warning piece focused on a single and alarming takeaway.

That is this: Attorneys from California to Maine are under stress.

Unexpected scourge in historic CA fire: unscrupulous attorneys

The so-called Camp Fire that has raged on recently in Northern California in an unprecedented way has inflicted unspeakable harm on individuals, families and businesses across a broad swath of the state. Tragically, scores of people have died in the conflagration, with many hundreds still being unaccounted for.

In short, people’s lives have been turned upside down, with help being desperately needed.

Malpractice case against law firm spotlights conflict of interest

Although it made a strong effort to avoid court, that is precisely the venue where a lawsuit involving large national law firm Blank Rome is now headed. A decision rendered by a New York judge last week ruled against the firm’s summary judgment motion to dismiss a legal malpractice case against it. In doing so, the court ruled that key factual issues remain unresolved and must be evaluated by a jury.

At the core of a plaintiff’s complaint against select attorneys of the firm is an allegation of deceit grounded in a conflict of interest claim. The plaintiff is the divorced spouse of a one-time top-tier executive with the eminent financial management firm Morgan Stanley. Her lawsuit contends that Blank Rome began representing her in divorce proceedings in 2009 without divulging that it was also representing Morgan Stanley in multiple transactions. At the time of her divorce, the woman’s husband was a member of the firm’s management committee.

Tips for skirting legal malpractice spotlight common lawyer errors

A recent in-depth article addressed to practicing American attorneys sets forth a number of so-called “best practice” tips aimed at helping them steer clear of legal liability that might otherwise arise through deficient lawyering. The piece duly notes that legal malpractice risks are “at an all-time high” and understandably need to be guarded against to the fullest extent possible.

Notably, that attorney-focused “how to avoid litigation” directive can ironically serve as a primer for clients in California and elsewhere regarding the types of things to look for that can signal attorney shortcomings. Individuals and families that justifiably rely in good faith on an attorney’s competence often suspect but cannot precisely pinpoint the particulars of deficient advocacy.

Is your CA attorney required to carry malpractice insurance?

California residents who retain attorneys often do so – and reasonably enough, we think – with the assumption that their relied-upon legal counsel carries malpractice insurance.

Like practitioners in all other occupations, lawyers are imperfect beings. They sometimes make mistakes or act in otherwise negligent or bad-faith ways that harm their clients. It is comforting to know that insurance coverage exists to protect against such a contingency.

New CA bill re lawyer fees focuses on public safety, discipline

It is clear what State Bar of California Executive Director Leah Wilson is primarily addressing in her reference to the “reform momentum” evident in recently passed legislation affecting state attorneys.

Wilson’s focus is twofold, centering squarely on public safety and attorney discipline.

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