How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask stevewlaw Your Own Question

stevewlaw
stevewlaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 203
Experience:  25+ years and millions of dollars in settlements in catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, and commercial litigation.
73182738
Type Your Business Law Question Here...
stevewlaw is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Re: claim for malpractice in case where: Atty of record (willfully)

Resolved Question:

Re: claim for malpractice in case where: Atty of record (willfully) doesn't appear for scheduled hearing, has not withdrawn, not served required notice to parties, etc., resulting in extreme prejudice at hearing with adverse ruling to clients.
Some questions: 1.) How do you determine a dollar figure for that kind of professional negligence in proposing a settlement? 2.) Can compensatory and punitive damages be asserted in letter with regards XXXXX XXXXX? 3.) If complaint for malpractice is filed with the state Bar would/could that result in negative repercussions for atty., professionally as well as potentially affecting insurance premiums, such that atty. (or insurer) would be willing to settle before such complaint is filed with the Bar... prior to filing suit?
Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  stevewlaw replied 1 year ago.

stevewlaw :

Good morning. I am sorry to hear of your situation. Generally, the value of a potential legal malpractice claim is the value of your original medical malpractice case. So your med mal case must be meritorious and have value before your legal malpractice case has value. If, for instance, your medical malpractice case is worth $100,000, then your legal malpractice case would be worth the same amount. As for the availability of punitive damages in your legal malpractice case, you will need to prove that the attorney was not only negligent, but did something beyond just being negligent to justify an award for punitive damages. Punies are never awarded in an ordinary negligence case. You will need to establish that the attorney acted intentionally or willfully in abandoning you as a client. I would not count on your ability to establish the basis for an award of punitive damages, unfortunately. But your abandonment as a client seems like a sound claim. As for the notification to the State Bar of your abandonment as a client, this is the type of case they generally investigate and take seriously. So I am assuming that because of your lawyers "negligence", your medical malpractice case was dismissed. If that is the case, and you have some idea of the value of that case, then you should make a demand on the lawyer to settle your case informally before you file a legal malpractice case. You should notify your State Bar offices regardless of your desire to use it as some sort of threat against the lawyer. Lawyers like that should not be representing clients. I am sorry to hear of your misfortune, and I wish you the best of luck in your quest for justice.

stevewlaw :

If you are satisfied with my response, I would appreciate receiving your positive feedback. Thank you.

Customer:

Thank you! It is a business case (legal malpractice), not medical case, but seems the logic/understanding could apply in same manner. Deliberate abandonment can be proved, as it's in a communication to us from atty. just before the scheduled case hearing. We are agreeable to settle the matter now....before filing suit, as if suit is filed there will surely be a higher cost in regards XXXXX XXXXX What is our best/strongest argument(s) in making the case for settlement?

stevewlaw :

I am sorry for the confusion. Who would have thought that a lawyer handling a legal malpractice case would commit legal malpractice himself. What irony! You are correct in that the analysis of damages and your own claim for legal malpractice against this lawyer would be the same, whether the underlying case was medical or legal malpractice. Your best argument would be to present the evidence of abandonment to the lawyer, and then you should have the opinion of another lawyer (on't disclose that attorneys identity) that this other lawyer committed legal malpractice, and that the malpractice caused you damages. That is your best tact.

Customer:

OK thank you.

stevewlaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 203
Experience: 25+ years and millions of dollars in settlements in catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, and commercial litigation.
stevewlaw and 4 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Just re-read again... it was not our legal malpractice lawyer, it was our lawyer in the business case who engaged in malpractice. Thanks

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Law Pro

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1426
    20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/lawpro/2012-6-25_171315_PT206740s.64x64.jpg Law Pro's Avatar

    Law Pro

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1426
    20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DC/DCraneEsq/2012-8-14_14436_DCrane.64x64.jpg MShore Law's Avatar

    MShore Law

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1233
    Drafted Negotiated and/or Reviewed Thousands of Commercial Agreements
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1162
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1142
    Run my own successful business/contract law practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ohioatty/2009-1-22_185545_me.jpg J.Hazelbaker's Avatar

    J.Hazelbaker

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    393
    Experienced and trained in the area of business law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/scottymacesq/2009-6-10_221523_small.jpg RGMacEsq's Avatar

    RGMacEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    393
    Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/barristerinky/2012-6-10_22423_office.64x64.jpg Barrister's Avatar

    Barrister

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    301
    13 years practicing attorney, MBA