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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 113508
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I secured the services of a California state bar certified

Customer Question

I secured the services of a California state bar certified attorney to represent me on a discrimination/retaliation complaint against the LAPD in August 2012/ The attorney filed a DFEH complaint and was granted the right to sue on September 3, 2012. The attorney reassured me that everything was on track and that depositions and discovery were being conducted. The attorney even falsified the interrogatories that he sent me. The attorney never filed the lawsuit within the one year statute. I have since learned that the attorney has been placed on inactive status and faces being disbarred. I have been told by numerous attorneys that I am out of luck even if the attorney missed the statute date. I cant believe that I can be denied justice when I followed all of the remedies and was thrown under the bus by a state bar certified attorney. Please tell me how to get my case to court.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. I am very sorry to hear about this completely incompetent representation.
If you missed your statute of limitations, you are barred from filing suit against the police department. Statutes of limitations are rigid like this, and ineffective assistance of counsel is not an exception to the rule.
The good news is that if your attorney failed to file a lawsuit within the statutory period for doing so, you would typically have a strong malpractice case. So, rather than suing the police department directly, you are now suing your attorney for the damages you would have recovered if your lawsuit was timely filed. In a malpractice action, you still need to prove the underlying facts of your original case, since it is necessary to establish that you would have prevailed in order to recover damages. So, in a sense, you are still bringing the exact same issues to court, it is only the defendant that has changed.
Most attorneys have malpractice insurance, so even if your attorney does not have the assets to pay a judgment, it does not matter. The insurance company is contractually bound to pay a judgment, and to negotiate the claim in good faith.
As soon as possible you need to consult with a malpractice attorney. There is a rigid statute of limitations for professional malpractice claims, and you wouldn't want to have that one lapse on you as at that point you will have no further recourse whatsoever. See here to locate a malpractice attorney in your area who can help: http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practice/legal-malpractice
I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Kindly opt out as per customer's request - Customer Support
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I am a different contributor and I see you are asking the other expert to opt out.
I am a bit confused, since what the expert told you is what the law is and your case to get to court is a malpractice case against the attorney who caused this to happen and caused you to miss the statute of limitations. You can seek to collect all of the damages that his negligence in failure to file the suit in time caused you to lose.
However, unless you have some other specific questions that the previous expert did not answer, his analysis of your information and his response were accurate regarding your options legally.

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