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First, can I sue an attorney for malpractice if she wasn't my attorney? Depending on that answer, I need to find an attorney who will sue another attorney for wrongful foreclosure.
No, you can't sue an attorney who wasn't representing you for malpractice. You may be able to sue them for something else, but not malpractice.
Understood. Then I need to find at attorney who will sue another attorney.
Can you briefly explain, just a sentence or two, why you want to sue them and maybe I can point you in the right direction as to the kind of attorney you need?
She foreclosed on my husband's homestead, had possession of it for almost two years, during which time his mortgage company sued them to set aside the foreclosure. The judge in the case ruled in favor of the mortgage company, and now we need to recover damages, which are considerable.
Did she foreclose on it for herself or when representing someone else? Also, what was the basis for that foreclosure?
she was representing husband's ex-wife. Divorce settlement between them gave her $50K real estate lien note secured by his homestead due and payable if and when he ever sold it. A year after the divorce he entered into a reverse mortgage. Almost two years later, ex-wife foreclosed, saying that revrse mortgage was a sale. Judge said it wasn't. while they had possession of the real property, the ex-wife stole some personal property, and the attorney lied to the police investigating the case. The attorney also removed personal property from the premises in the form of over 3,000 pieces of roofing tile (stored on the ground not from the roof).
Wow. You can definitely pursue an ethical violation against them through the State Bar (let me know if you need that info). As far as the type of attorney, there are several different issues involved and the best area of practice would be Civil Litigation or Civil Trial Law.
The attorney was the one who represented ex-wife in divorce. She tried to put ex-wife's $50K lien in front of a $250K security instrument that the ex-wife had signed. Ex-wife relied on this in foreclosure.
You would have to sue the ex-wife as well and allege a type of "conspiracy".
I agree, and I think an ethical violation needs to be filed, but that doesn't make me whole.
My husband died while we were exiled from the property. We were in Guatemala, where he is buried.
The focus would need to be that the attorney knew it wasn't a valid method of handling this and proceeded anyway.
It is a little different than normal malpractice. An attorney can "stretch the envelope" in representing their client but at some point they cross a line, which it sounds like they did in this case, and it becomes something other than an attorney doing their job.
You can find a lawyer in those practice area at www.lawyers.com. That website allows you to search by location and type of practice.
Am interested more in the conspiracy aspect, although I think "collusion" might be more appropriate....?
It is about the same thing but the legal term is conspiracy.
It is the way you "hook" all the people involved into the case.
Oh, please, please, please, don't just leave me with that www.lawyers.com address. I've tried it without any luck at all.
You didn't find anyone on there?
I can try it again, but not by searching something as general as civil litigation or civil trial law. I need an expert to help me find an expert.
I've wasted a lot of time communicating with attorneys so far only to be told in the end that they won't file a suit against another attorney; that that's a very specialized field.
Legal malpractice is an extremely specialized field, but this isn't malpractice. If you have been using that language a lot of attorneys would shut down at that point. That's not to say that an attorney who does legal malpractice cases wouldn't take the case.
This would definitely fall under the Civil Litigation area of practice.
You could also contact the state bar and ask for a list of attorneys who are "Board Certified in Civil Trial Law".
Today was the first that I was introduced to "malpractice" by another attorney, who, again, thinks I have a great case but who won't file suit against another attorney. I cross my heart and promise not to use "malpractice," but for heaven's sake, I guess I need some special key to unlock the secret of finding an attorney who will sue another attorney when it's not malpractice.
I thank you very much, but this is stuff from any standard yellow page listings.
Hold on just a sec. Be right back with you.
It really isn't stuff from a yellow page listing. The problem you're having is that, factually, a lot of attorneys don't want to bail into a case against another attorney regardless of what the underlying case is about.
To find an attorney that is going to be willing to do it they are going to be one who advertise as being in the areas of law I mentioned.
And 98% of the attorneys in Texas who are actually qualified as civil litigation attorneys will be on the lawyers.com website.
Also, are you asking them to take this on a % or pay them up front?
And it's going to be up to me to wade through that 98%? Like I said in the beginning, time is of the essence. I'm trying to sue the attorney before the ex-wife does!! Plus, it's a reverse mortgage, and my husband died.
I'm certainly hoping to find one who'll take it on a contingent fee basis, if I'm willing to put the costs to initiate it up front. Punitive damages for wrongful foreclosure on a homestead in Texas can be up to nine times the amount of actual damages.....which, again, are substantial.
I was hoping by paying you $40, I could at least come away with a name out of that 98%.
Most attorneys only take personal injury cases on a %. That is because they can know just by looking at the police report, etc. that there is likely to be a recovery at the end. Your case requires a great deal of work just to get to the point where you know for sure that the case is likely to result in a judgment. In addition, in Texas it is almost impossible to collect on a judgment once you get it so an attorney has to know there is an easily collected set of assets waiting there to satisfy the judgment.
Right, the only "pocket" here is the attorney's malpractice insurance.
So we've come full circle.
I'm becoming more convinced that I'm going to have to initiate this on a pro se basis.
I guess I'll just have to opt out since all I can do, as I indicated originally, is provide you sources to find an attorney and the areas of practice you want to look at. It is not a legal malpractice case so that cannot be a deep pocket to look to. The problem that you're having, whether the attorneys you are talking to are telling you that or not, is that they aren't wanting to take the case on a %.
Pro se is definitely an option. It is getting easier to do that all the time and there are some good sources out there for reference materials on the process.
More info on those resources, please?
It is substantially harder than just filing forms, I'm sure you realize that, but it definitely sounds like you're capable.
and honestly, I'd think you'd be right about the % basis, except for the fact that I get turned down before we even reach discussion of payment terms.
There is a website called LessonsInlaw.com that has several e-books available for pro se parties that are excellent. They cut through the BS and get to the things you need to know.
Lawyers are very hesitant about suing other lawyers.
Yeah, but they're out there somewhere.
Also, the Texas court website has some info at http://texaslawhelp.org/
They are, but they are very, very rare and it is just a matter of wading through lawyer after lawyer until you find one that is willing to pursue it.
Ergo, you. Otherwise I would not have risked the $40 on an internet website.
But thank you. I will pursue pro se.
That's not what we do though. One of the click throughs states we don't give specific referrals and don't represent people from the website.
Okay, well, take your $40 and my blessings. Have a great day.
Actually, I don't receive credit unless you give a Positive Rating so if you don't rate then the question times out and your money is returned to you. I explained what I could and could not do when we started but the ultimate decision is yours on what you do. I do wish you the best on it.