Legal Malpractice Law Review

Legal Malpractice Law Review

Research, resources & expertise in the law governing lawyers

Category Archives: Duties: Competence

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PA: Settlement Not Always a Bar to Malpractice Action

Posted in Duties: Competence, Family Law, Pennsylvania, Standard of Care
McMahon v. Shea, 547 Pa. 124 (1997) Student Contributor: Justin Lieberman Underlying Divorce Matter Facts: The husband in an underlying divorce action brought a professional malpractice suit against his attorneys, claiming that they had failed to properly advise him in his divorce settlement. More specifically, the husband claimed that his attorneys had failed to advise… Continue Reading

Smith v. Spisak: Supreme Court Bars Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claim Based On Client’s Admissions

Posted in Criminal Law, Duties: Competence, Federal, Standard of Care
Smith v. Spisak, 130 S.Ct. 676 (Jan. 12, 2010). Underlying Criminal Matter Facts:  Frank G. Spisak, Jr. was convicted in an Ohio trial court of three murders and two attempted murders. He was sentenced to death. He filed a habeas corpus petition in federal court alleging constitutional errors at trial. Spisak claimed that he suffered… Continue Reading

NJ: Lawyer’s Vicarious Liability for Independent Contractors?

Posted in Duties: Competence, Duties: Investigate, New Jersey, Real Estate, Standard of Care, Vicarious Liability
Toth v. Vazquez, 3 N.J. Super. 379 (Ch. Div. 1949) (PDF with permission of Thomson West) Student Contributor: Anthony J. Forzano NJ Underlying Real Estate Transaction Facts: Plaintiff, a potential land buyer, brought an action for legal malpractice against the defendant-attorney, Arthur A. Wolpin, who had been engaged by the plaintiff to examine the title… Continue Reading

Restatement of the Law Governing Lawyers §16. A Lawyer’s Duties to a Client –In General

Posted in Duties: Competence, Duties: Confidentiality, Duties: Conflict Avoidance, Restatement of the Law Governing Lawyers
To the extent consistent with the lawyer’s other legal duties and subject to the other provisions of this Restatement, a lawyer must, in matters within the scope of the representation: proceed in a manner reasonably calculated to advance a client’s lawful objectives, as defined by the client after consultation; act with reasonable competence and diligence;… Continue Reading