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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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The attorney that represented me in a property settlement (divorce)

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The attorney that represented me in a property settlement (divorce) failed to present a specific document which increased my debt owed to my ex by 12,000.00. The same attorney failed to realize I was charged twice for another debt when the family court did its property settlement calculations. This 2nd mistake was for 35,000.00. These two mistakes increased my debt owed to my ex by 47,000.00. Had these mistakes been corrected prior to a previously approved refinance of my home I would have had ample funds to pay all my debts,including my ex, and I would still have my home. Instead I was forced by family court to sell my home for 75,00.00 less than the family court appraised the home for and I had to declare bankruptcy. I am now homeless ,my credit is ruined, and I was forced to file bankruptcy. What I just described is 100% factually true. Can I file a lawsuit against my former attorney and recover monetary damages for the nightmare I have been forced to experience because of this attorney's mistake(s).
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Yes, you can sue your attorney for malpractice, and if you win, then you'll be entitled to money damages. However, you should bear in mind that your money damages would equal the amount that you would have had if the attorney had not made the mistakes (i.e., $12k + $35k). You would not be entitled to compensation for your lost home and bad credit, as those are too remote from the attorney's actions.

In order to sue, I suggest that you consult with a local legal malpractice attorney. To find an attorney near you, you can use the Delaware State Bar Association referral service, which can be accessed online HERE.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.

If the information that I provided is helpful, then please remember to click the green accept button so that I will receive credit and compensation for my time. Positive feedback is always appreciated as well. Thank you and good luck!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your reply. Can I sue for something other than legal malpractice. A Para Legal friend said I should consider filing a tort claim (I am not sure what this is ). She said this would allow me to receive punitive damages. As she explained it, it is the same as if you were injured in a car accident, ie-- someone else's negligence caused me to suffer huge financial losses. Is this true?
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hi again. I'm afraid that your friend gave you incorrect information.

First, malpractice is a tort (a tort is a civil wrong, as opposed to a criminal wrong). Second, punitive damages are generally only available when the defendant's conduct is purposeful. Negligent conduct does not give rise to punitive damages. Her car accident example is misplaced since most car accidents do not give rise to punitive damages (for the reasons stated above).

I hope that helps. Please remember to click "accept," and good luck!
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