If you have ever entered into an agreement with someone regarding property, business endeavors or financial obligations among other things, you have probably signed a contract. Your contract plays a critical role in protecting you, as well as the other party who you are under contract with. With detailed clauses that define both you and your partner's obligations, duties and anticipated benefits, you can have peace of mind that your best interest is protected in a way that is bound by legal terms in the state of California.
When film producer Harvey Weinstein was fired recently following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace, you may have been surprised to learn that he contested the decision by filing a wrongful termination lawsuit. While it may be common for employees to feel that their getting fired was unfair, the legal grounds for termination to be considered wrongful are quite specific.
Professional malpractice by an attorney in California occurs when the lawyer has caused damage to a client. The damage caused may be due to either negligence or intentional conduct. Legal malpractice can occur in all areas of the law and may take multiple forms.
Just because your previous attorney did a less than stellar job does not necessarily mean you have a case for legal malpractice. However, lawyers in California are held to professional and ethical standards. A violation of that duty may mean you can recover some of the financial loss you suffered because of your previous attorney's negligence or other wrongdoing.
What happens in legal matters can impact a person on a very deep level. Thus, when a person entrusts an attorney to help them with a legal issue, a lot is riding on the attorney acting in the person's best interests and doing what they are supposed to in their representation.
There are a great many deadlines in legal matters. One of the very important deadlines that can be present when it comes to legal cases are statutes of limitations. Generally, the state's civil statutes of limitations put time limits on how long after an incident occurs or a wrong is detected a person can file a civil lawsuit over the wrong/incident.
Most of us in Los Angeles try to be ethical at all times, even if we do not have an official list of ethics to follow. Many professions do have rules of ethics, including attorneys.
A person who hires an attorney for help with a legal matter has the right to expect that the lawyer taking his or her case does not have a conflict of interest. We spoke about conflict of interest on Sept. 9. It is a form of legal malpractice in which the offending attorney represents clients whose interests oppose each other for some reason. Think of an attorney representing opposite sides in a contract negotiation.
Though this ruling is not from a California court, it provides an interesting decision for people interested in legal malpractice matters generally.
One way that California attorneys can protect themselves in the event of a legal malpractice suit against them is to take out a malpractice insurance policy on their firms. This way, if a former client ever sues, the firm may not have to pay out of its own pocket to pay a settlement or judgment.