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Ray
Ray, Lawyer
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Experience:  30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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I had a lawyer file a lawsuit in special civil against me for

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I had a lawyer file a lawsuit in special civil against me for fees he felt he was owed. I in turn not only responded but also filed a counterclaim against this lawyer. When we went to court we agreed to each dismiss our filings. As part of the court form for the dismissal it notes the following: "Each party agrees to release and give up and and all claims and rights which they may have against the other arising out of this action. This releases all claims including those of which the parties are not aware and those not mentioned in this stipulation of settlement."
Does this agreement which states the above mean I cannot go on to file a malpractice lawsuit against this attorney?

RayAnswers :

Thanks for your question and good evening.

Customer:

evening

RayAnswers :

You should not sign this release form if your intent is to pursue a legal malpractice claim against his lawyer.It is very possible the lawyer would seek to use the release against you in such a lawsuit. Arguably the language "arising out of this action" might encompass such a malpractice claim.You may choose to draft our own form or modify this one if you want to retain the right to bring a malpractice suit.The reason this is in the release is that the court wants the parties to agree to release any present and future litigation.

Customer:

i see.

RayAnswers :

You certainly have a right to not sign this and to return to court if you have to.Alternately you can draft your own release and submit it to the other lawyer.You would want to reserve the right to bring a future claim for legla malpractice.

Customer:

I was wondering if this only applied to the special civil case or would apply to any futer suits

RayAnswers :

Overall this release is pretty broad.Certainly they would raise it in say a malpractice claim and the court would have to decide the issue.But if you really believe you are going to pursue a malpractice suit I would not agree to such a release.

Customer:

*future

Customer:

thank you

RayAnswers :

You have right to modify it and due a cover letter specifically setting out that you are not willing to waive your right to bring such a claim.Thanks again.

Ray and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Thanks for the rating and good luck to you in resolving this.

This communication does not establish an attorney client relationship here.Information provided is not legal advice. Rather it is simply general information.

Ray and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The agreement was a general form which the court supplies and I did end up signing it in the end. So I presume by doing so I cut myself off from being able to pursue a malpractice claim. I had assumed this document would have only applied to the case/docket number at hand and would not have prevented any other type of litigation.

I cannot tell you for certain here--if you file a malpractice suit then likely they raise it as an issue.Your argument would be that the claim arose out of other actions, etc other than those contained in this release.

Ultimately the court would have to decide if this barred you.Since it was a premade standard form your other argument was that there was no intent to waive.A malpractice lawyer may well be able to argue around it but it is bound to come up.I would not give up pursuing your malpractice claim, its possible the court decides that you did not intend to waive such a claim.Just know that it is probably going to be an issue for your lawyer to deal with.

You have a two year Statute of Limitations on Legal Malpractice claims in NJ here.

http://research.lawyers.com/New-Jersey/New-Jersey-Statutes-of-Limitations.html

Thanks for the follow up, good luck with your claim.I can see that you have not gotten the legal assistance that you originally sought from this person.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is it possible to file a malpractice lawsuit myself without the use of an attorney? Would I need to file in the same county in which I am in our can I file in another county this way I do not have to worry about requesting a change of venue?

You would have to file it herein the same county as venue would be proper there.And you can file a civil suit pro se on your own if you choose.You might be able to find a lawyer to take it contingent fee as well.That means you do not pay unless there is a recovery.

 

Thanks for the follow up.Good luck with your claim .You may also want to file a grievance as well.

 

You can do so here.

 

Office of Attorney Ethics handles complaints about lawyers in New Jersey. To file a complaint about a lawyer in New Jersey: www.judiciary.state.nj.us

Lawyer Complaint Mailing Address
Office of Attorney Ethics
Mountain View Office Park 840 Bear Tavern Road PO box 963
Trenton, NJ 8625

Telephone
(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

 

Thanks again.

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