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Los Angeles Professional Malpractice Law Blog

What does attorney conflict of interest actually mean, entail?

California legal authorities – the state’s Supreme Court, State Bar and other regulators – harbor no ambiguity when it comes to making determinations concerning whose interests are paramount in any attorney-client interaction.

It is simply a bedrock expectation grounded in legal precedent and time-honored practice that a lawyer representing a client in any matter must be free of personal taint that could harm the client’s interests.

Potential warning flag for attorney clients: gluttony?

What do you think of when you hear the term “gluttony?” Many people might readily conjure up an image of a person who just can’t leave the buffet. Gluttony might similarly serve as an apt descriptor for an individual whose appetite for accumulation, overindulgence or sheer possession in virtually any context seemingly knows no bounds.

Let’s talk lawyers for a moment, who are spotlighted in a recent series of legal articles focused on the so-called “deadly sins” of attorneys that can adversely impact client representation.

What are some common mistakes spurring malpractice claims?

A commentator notes in a recently penned law journal article a widely held misconception concerning legal malpractice.

Namely, that is this: the predominant concern of many attorneys that they will be found liable for one or more major mistakes they make in their application of complex legal rules and principles.

CA attorneys’ fingerprinting produces a notable result

The fingerprinting of California lawyers has long been a statutorily imposed requirement.

Notwithstanding the duty, though, the onus has been less than routinely insisted upon by state legal regulators. That inconsistency in adhering to the law led to subsequent legislation in 2017 that mandated the re-fingerprinting of all practitioners on active status.

CA legal malpractice insurance mandate on near horizon?

A key California rule governing attorneys requires all practicing lawyers across the state to inform clients in writing if they don’t carry liability insurance.

Proponents of that mandate regard it as a core protection for the general public. Practitioners who don’t carry insurance against malpractice arguably pose a heightened risk to clients who in good faith rely upon their competence and focused representation.

A growing concern with attorney stress, client impact

Every occupational group has inherent stresses and pressures that can mar individuals’ work quality and compromise their delivery of services to third parties who depend on them.

Doctors are well known in that regard, for instance, as are airline pilots and police officers.

Character traits can get a CA lawyer in trouble, including pride

The saying, “Pride comes before a fall” underscores that arrogance or a haughty nature often spurs conduct that can be injurious and self-defeating. Indeed, pride can easily cloud wise decision making and lead to adverse outcomes for individuals who can’t shelve their vanity.

Including lawyers.

Privity of contract principle spotlighted in legal malpractice case

Clients retaining attorneys to promote their rights in legal matters justifiably assume that their legal counsel will always act competently.

That so-called “standard of care” does not mean that a lawyer must be a paragon of perfection. Rather, it mandates that legal counsel proceed in a manner similar to that engaged in by other attorneys acting in a prudent way.

Apathy, laziness stressed in many attorney malpractice claims

Two attorney authors who concentrate on ethics in the legal industry duly note that many practitioners become ensnared in client-linked difficulties when they fail to routinely focus on and remain sharp in their representation.

That’s obvious, right? And writers Shari L. Klevens and Alanna Clair underscore the point in noting that attorney sloth is a common catalyst spurring legal malpractice claims.

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