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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37952
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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What state are you in? If a petition, summons and notice of

Customer Question

What state are you in?
If a petition for divorce, summons and notice of automatic injunction was served which reads clearly that if you do not reply in writing within 20 days you will have a judgement concerning what the petitioner requested and the respondant does not reply, yet the attorney does not act like its a big deal is this malpractice? My daughter has lost hround and a lot of money due to attorney not taking action where there was a right to.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

The answer to your question would be the same in every U.S. jurisdiction: An attorney has a duty to their client to act competently in any legal representation. If the attorney's failure to respond results in a judgment against their client, and that judgment is more adverse to the client than would have been true had the attorney responded to the petition, then the attorney would be in breach of duty, and the cause of the client's injury. That is the textbook definition of professional negligence (malpractice): (1) duty to client; (2) breach of duty; (3) actual cause of injury; (4) reasonably foreseeable cause of injury (legal cause); and (5) damages.

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