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Legal Malpractice – You Have Rights!

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

Massachusetts Lawyers Defraud Clients of Two Million Dollars

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.
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Massachusetts Legal Malpractice Contingent Fee Offset

In a Massachusetts legal malpractice post verdict ruling that was decided by Superior Court Judge John C. Cratsley of the Suffolk Superior Court held that a verdict of $81,250 against Attorney Dane M. Shulman would not be reduced by the one third contingent fee notwithstanding the fact that had Attorney Shulman won the underlying case, the client would have had the reduction because of the fee agreement.
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Massachusetts Lawyer Cannot Withdraw From Case

When Boston attorneyThomas Kiley decided he was no longer interested in representing a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case he left the client, an alleged victim of medical malpractice and unskilled in the law, without a lawyer, facing the opposing aggressive malpractice attorney. The client could not find another lawyer and made several critical mistakes while trying to navigate his civil case through the courts. The case before the Supreme Judicial Court centered on who had the obligation to keep the client; the attorney or his former law firm. The trial court ruled that Attorney Thomas Kiley had to keep the case.
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Legal Malpractice Insurance For Negligence In Massachusetts

We represent victims of legal malpractice in Massachusetts. Generally, our client alleges that his or her attorney was negligent when the attorney was handling the clients’ case. When the attorney has professional negligence insurance, the insurance company, upon notice of the claim, steps in and provides counsel and, in the event of a settlement or judgment, indemnifies, or pays, on the claim. On the other hand, in a recent case when an attorney and his former firm had a fee dispute, they tried to invoke the malpractice insurance policy, saying that “an act or omission in the performance of legal services” invoked the insurance, both to pay for the defense and to indemnify, or pay, any judgment. Federal Judge Ponsor, sitting in Springfield, however, found that the dispute was a business dispute, and not a negligence issue. The Court, however, in Clermont v. Continental Casualty Co. v. Freedman, DeRosa & Rondeau LLP, found that it was a “business decision”.
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Double Damages Awarded in Massachusetts Legal Malpractice Lawsuit

A Massachusetts judge awarded double damages under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 93A, in favor of our client who was a victim of legal malpractice. In this case, our client was a double victim. He injured his neck in a Massachusetts motor vehicle accident in 2004 for which another party was at fault, however, after filing a lawsuit, his attorney failed to follow the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure and his case was dismissed in 2009. Our office served Attorney David Driscoll with a 93A Demand letter on March 20, 2010. The attorney failed to respond, in violation of the law, and we had to file suit.
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Massachusetts Board Of Bar Overseers Admonitions 2008 – 2010

The Boston personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Neil Burns studied all 57 Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers public admonitions from 2008-2010, looking for trends. The more severe penalties for Massachusetts lawyers – suspension and disbarment – can only be imposed after review by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. They are reserved for the most serious violations. We will review Massachusetts disbarment and suspension in a subsequent article. The most severe punishment that the BBO can mete out is the admonition. As we’ll see, lawyers can rack up an admonition for a frighteningly wide range of behaviors – even sometimes when acting in good faith.
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