Under a Massachusetts case handed down by the United States District Court on July 29, 2014, the answer is no: after a jury finding of legal negligence, double damages under 93A, and attorney fees, the Court ruled that the insurance company is not responsible for the double damages or the attorney fees. Read more
In an excellent demonstration of what does and does not constitute a legal malpractice case, a recent decision by the Essex Superior Court Judge Feeley lays out the requirements for a basic legal malpractice case in Massachusetts. See McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, P.C. v. Grady (April 1, 2014). Read more
Of course, you can always fire or disengage your attorney. But first, it is critical to sit down and meet with him or her. There may be a communication issue that is easy to resolve. Potential clients often come to us with this question, and, upon review, their lawyer has been doing a fantastic job advancing the client’s interests. Unfortunately, the lawyer is simply not communicating what he or she has been doing, or why they are doing it. As a result, the client does not know that, in fact, he or she is being adequately represented. Read more
In Massachusetts, clients who are defrauded by their attorneys can apply the Massachusetts Clients’ Security Board for compensation. This is different from legal negligence, otherwise known as legal malpractice claims.
2013 was a record year for awards to victims of attorney fraud for the self funded MCSB which received over one hundred claims. Read more
Legal Malpractice Cases for Real Estate now Surpasses Personal Injury
According to an American Bar Association study, real estate has surpassed personal injury as the largest source of legal malpractice claims. This may be a result of the fallout from the 2008 real estate market crisis and the vast number of “failed real estate transactions” following the crash. This 2008-2011 study of over 53,000 legal malpractice claims showed a changed trend since the studies began in 1985. It is worth noting that the damages paid to plaintiffs were higher, on average, then in previous years. A good example of real estate legal malpractice litigation is the Burns & Levinson case, below.< Read more
The Massachusetts Clients’ Security Board announced that it had awarded over $2,000,000 to clients that had been defrauded out of their money by 33 lawyers committing legal malpractice in Massachusetts. A program run under the Massachusetts Bar Counsel since 1975, the CSB receives 12.49% of attorneys’ annual registration fees to fund reimbursements. The Board is made up of seven lawyers appointed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court; they receive no compensation for their work, however, there are investigators and staff who work full time for the Board.
In a case of first impression for Boston legal malpractice lawyers, the Superior Court entered summary judgment in favor of estate planning attorneys. Sherman et. al. v. Shub et al., dated June 15, 2011 and written by Peter M. Lauriat, Justice of the Superior Court, is a Massachusetts legal malpractice case regarding damages.