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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 10238
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney representing individuals and businesses.
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I have been a member of Legal Shield, the prepaid legal

Customer Question

I have been a member of Legal Shield, the prepaid legal service since 2001. This past week has presented so many problems with them trying to get a letter to a bail-bond agency in Monroe, LA. Their web site promises certain "standards," but none of these are followed. Is there anything I can do?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 12 months ago.

You can sue them for breach of contract (and potentially legal malpractice - I have seen a lot of these prepaid legal services in different capacities, and while I would venture that some of their conduct is actionable, I have not personally seen a legal malpractice claim against them, but some of the work product that some of these services generate is very poor indeed).

Start by protecting your legal interests in the current matter - hire a local attorney that will actually represent you. If you choose not to do that, plan on defending your rights on your own (do not rely on this service to automatically pick up in time to protect your interests, and while there may be grounds to sue them, it is very hard to win back legal ground that you give up waiting).

To deal with your subscription, you can try contacting your local bar (each county in California has an attorney dispute resolution service - the mandatory service centers on the attorney fee (so you can dispute the money you paid to them for their service), but many also offer mediation or other dispute resolution in addition to this service.

  • Legal malpractice cases are based almost entirely on expert testimony. You must not only find an attorney to act as an expert witness regarding the standard of care for your prior lawyer (to prove the "negligence" elements of the case), but also an attorney expert (and potentially other experts) to testify regarding the underlying claim (you must prove that absent the attorney's malpractice you would have achieved a better result - often termed "the case within the case").
  • Due to the complexity of these claims, I highly recommend that you retain a legal malpractice plaintiff's lawyer (also called trial attorneys). Fortunately the majority of these attorneys will provide you with a free consultation, and many will represent you on a contingency basis (they will advance the costs of litigation and legal services in exchange for a portion of your successful settlement or judgment).
  • You can find local attorneys using the State and Local Bar Association directories, or private directories such as www.AVVO.com; www.FindLaw.com; or www.Martindale.com (I personally find www.AVVO.com to be the most user friendly).
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 12 months ago.

You can also report them to the California Bar Association (http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/LawyerRegulation/FilingaComplaint.aspx), they won't get your money back, but they can discipline the attorneys that have failed to perform the necessary work in a professional manner.

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