Legal Malpractice Law Review

Legal Malpractice Law Review

Research, resources & expertise in the law governing lawyers

Category Archives: Criminal Law

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NH: Legal Malpractice: The Innocent Guilty Plea (???)

Posted in Criminal Law, New Hampshire, Proximate Cause
Hilario v. Reardon, 158 N.H. 56 (2008). NH: Underlying Criminal Procedure, Guilty Plea Student Contributor: Peter J. Jannace FACTS: Plaintiff was indicted on various charges; he then entered into a plea arrangement with the State which provided that if he met certain conditions, including cooperating in other prosecutions, the State would petition for the suspension… Continue Reading

IL:Criminal Litigant must prove “actual innocence” in addition to legal malpractice

Posted in Criminal Law, Illinois
Paulsen v. Cochran, 356 Ill. App. 3d 354 (2005) IL: Plea agreements, legal malpractice, actual innocence Student Contributor: Rachel Vincent Facts: Plaintiff Michael Paulsen is appealing the dismissal of his legal malpractice action against defendants. The complaint arose from the representation and sentence plaintiff received when he pled guilty to a drug offense in Arizona.… Continue Reading

CT: Risky to Bring Legal Malpractice Claim Without an Expert Witness

Posted in Connecticut, Criminal Law, Litigation
Moore v. Crone, 114 Conn.App. 443, 970 A.2d 757 (2009) CT: Underlying criminal defense matter Student Contributor: Nicholas Scot Kingsbury Facts: Client sued his former attorney claiming negligence and breach of contract in his representation of the client in his criminal trial for attempted murder. The client alleged that the attorney failed to raise the issue of:… Continue Reading

NJ: Criminal Defense Malpractice

Posted in Criminal Law, New Jersey, Statute of Limitations
McGrogan v. Till, 167 N.J. 414, 771 A.2d 1187 (2001) NJ: Underlying criminal investigation Student Contributor: Jennifer Hanley Facts: The client hired the lawyer to represent him in connection with a criminal investigation. The client subsequently files a legal malpractice claim against the lawyer, for his representation during that investigation. When the client brought that… Continue Reading

MS: Client’s Release to Not Sue Lawyer Called into Question By MS Supreme Court

Posted in Criminal Law, Mississippi
Smith v. Sneed, 638 So.2d 1252 (Miss. 1994) MS: Underlying Murder Charge Student Contributor: Laura Stein Facts: Smith sued his appointed lawyer, Sneed, alleging he committed malpractice during his representation on a charge of murder. Smith pled guilty to manslaughter and was sentence to 20 years in prison. 3 years later, through a new lawyer,… Continue Reading

PA: Judgmental Immunity for Bad Outcome is Not Malpractice

Posted in Criminal Law, Pennsylvania
Composition Roofers,etc. v. Katz 398 Pa. Super. 564; 581 A.2d 607 (1990) PA Underlying Criminal Action Student Contributor: Natalie Resto Facts: The Union retained the attorney to advise it on all legal matters. Thirteen of the Union’s former members were indicted for its alleged criminal attempts to benefit the Union and its members. The attorney… Continue Reading

NJ: Emotional Distress Claims Acceptable When There Is Loss of Liberty

Posted in Criminal Law, Damages, Federal, New Jersey
Lawson v. Nugent, 702 F. Supp. 91 (D.N.J. 1988) NJ: Underlying criminal conviction matter Student Contributor: Laura Binski Facts: The client was indicted for robbery of a Post Office and hired the lawyer to represent him. The client claims that the lawyer encouraged him to plead guilty to all three counts of the indictment without… Continue Reading

TX: No Causation in Malpractice Action = Summary Judgment

Posted in Criminal Law, Fiduciary Duty, Proximate Cause, Texas
Rodgers v. Weatherspoon, 141 SW 3d 342 (Tex. App. 2004) TX: Underlying criminal defense Student Contributor: Megan Diodato Facts:  The client was charged with aggravated assault and the attorney was appointed to represent him. The client filed motions to act on his own behalf and to dismiss attorney as his counsel. The attorney filed a… Continue Reading

WI: Expert Testimony Needed to Prove a Breach of Duty of Care

Posted in Criminal Law, Expert Witnesses, Wisconsin
Pierce v. Colwell, 563 N.W.2d 166 (Wis. Ct. Apps. 1997) WI: Underlying criminal matter Student Contributor: Jeff Cain Facts: Client was charged with ten counts of sexual assault. He was represented by another lawyer during the arraignment and the jury trial, which found him guilty. Lawyer Colwell represented him during the sentencing, in which he… Continue Reading

IN: Cops in Criminal Case Enjoy Joint Counsel

Posted in Conflicts of Interest, Criminal Law, Indiana
Hanna v. State, 714 N.E.2d 1162 (Ind. Ct. App. 1999) IN: Underlying criminal case Student Contributor: Jeff Cain Facts: Six police officers were indicted in a criminal case. One officer was indicted for pointing a firearm, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing bodily injury, and criminal recklessness, among other crimes. The other five officers… Continue Reading

LA: Can A Criminal Defendant Begin Legal Malpractice Claim While Criminal Trial Pending?

Posted in Criminal Law, Louisiana
Augman v. Colwart, 874 So. 2d 191 (La. App. 2004) LA: Underlying Criminal Case Student Contributor: Laura Stein Facts: Plaintiff was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and the court assigned him counsel. He was convicted and that conviction was eventually affirmed on appeal but his sentence was amended. His instant… Continue Reading

AL: Timely filing for prison inmates

Posted in Alabama, Criminal Law, Defenses, Litigation
Aaron v. Mansell, 854 So.2d.96 (2003). AL: Underlying criminal case Student Contributor: Farah Shahidpour Facts:  Client hired Attorney. Client, now acting pro se, sues Attorney for legal malpractice and slander. Attorney filed an answer and denied both of Client’s allegations. Attorney cross-filed for summary judgment. Client filed a request for oral argument for evidentiary hearing, a… Continue Reading

VT: Lawyer misses appeal deadline, tries to fix mistake, avoids ethical violation

Posted in Criminal Law, Vermont
In re PRB Docket No. 2006-167, 925 A.2d 1026 (Vt. 2007) VT: Underlying criminal defense Student Contributor: Eric B. Kang Facts: Lawyer represented client in a criminal matter and after a jury convicted client, the court imposed a prison sentence. Client then asked lawyer to file an appeal. Lawyer filed the appeal five days after… Continue Reading

VT: Contract lawyer for state not state employee

Posted in Criminal Law, Vermont
Reed v. Glynn, 724 A.2d 464 (Vt. 1998) VT. Underlying Criminal Defense Student Contributor:  Eric B. Kang Facts: Lawyer had a contract with the Windsor County defender general to provide representation to indigent defendants in cases in which the public defender was disqualified because of a conflict of interest or was otherwise unavailable. The contract… Continue Reading

TX: If Conviction Not Overturned-No Malpractice Claim

Posted in Criminal Law, Proximate Cause, Texas
Alvarez v. Casita Maria Inc., 269 F. Supp. 2d 834 (N.D. Tex. 2003) TX: Underlying conviction for illegal reentry into the U.S. Student Contributor: Megan Diodato Facts:  The clients, illegal aliens, contacted Casita Maria, Inc. to arrange for immigration counseling services. In the course of that counseling, the clients met with multiple Casita employees, who… Continue Reading

NJ: Mandatory Hearing for Ineffective Assistance of Counsel in Deportable Crimes

Posted in Criminal Law, New Jersey, Standard of Care
State of New Jersey v. Frensel Gaitan, Appellate Division, February 7, 2011. Underlying case: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, Criminal Defense Facts: Defendant pled guilty to third-degree distribution of a controlled substance within 1000 feet of a school, and was sentenced to 5 years probation.  Approximately three years later, defendant filed suit against his former attorney… Continue Reading

NJ: Innocence is Not a Prerequisite to Malpractice Suits by Criminal Defendants

Posted in Criminal Law, New Jersey
Marrero v. Feintuch, N.J. App. Div., January 25, 2011. Facts: Marrero was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to five years prison.  After serving one year and eight months, Marrero was released after his indictment was dismissed.   Shortly, thereafter, Marrero filed suit against his attorneys in the criminal action.  He alleged that his attorneys… Continue Reading