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attorney malpractice

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Southern California-
ok, checked attorneypages.com, no luck!!
first question any attorneys ask is if he has
Legal Malpractice Insurance. I know he does not because I hired an attorney with the stip
ulation that if he did not have insurance he would dismisse from case. Which he did once he contact my ex-attorney. I need help fast!!! I've only got 2 1/2 months left. It's a total injustice to know that this man and others like him can get away from monetary damages. Aren't we sending the wrong messages to bad attorneys that if they refuse to get insurance coverage that their clients have no recourse to take?? He did not indicate that he did not have insurance. He should have indicated this in the agreement that we signed when we hired him.
Could somebody please offer some assistance in this matter? I am willing to pay or sign a contract. This attorney needs to pay for the damages he cost me on my personal injury case as I will never heal from the injuries I received.

[This message has been edited by oreo (edited March 29, 2000).]


Senior Member
In some states attorneys MUST state in their written fee agreements that they do not have malpractice insurance, if they do not. Failure to state that is an ethical violation that can result in having their licence pulled.

Also, the reason lawyers do not take cases on a contingency against profesionals without malpractice insurance (unless the profesional is very wealthy) is that if they win, and the defendant has no assets, or only minimal assets, there is nothing to collect the judgment from.

Not only are most malpractice cases against attorneys hard (you must prove BOTH that the original matter was one you would have recovered on AND the attorney acted far below professional standards which caused the loss) the defendant attorney can litigate for nothing on his own. And if after the struggle your lawyer wins the case, and the inevitable appeals, what would your lawyer get if the defendant had no assets? Your lawyer would have worked hard for years and not get paid as "no assets, no recovery."

If you were to pay by the hour I am sure that you'd find a lawyer to help you, but then you'd have paid your lawyer a lot and never get anything back from the attorney you sued, as "no assets, no recovery" assuming he'd not file for bankruptcy or play games with the assets.

But IF you file suit -- even on your own -- the statute of limitations problem goes away. The lack of assets problem does not.

This is intended as general information only and NOT LEGAL ADVICE. You are not my client, and I have no obligation of any kind to you. To retain a lawyer, go to http://AttorneyPages.com


The State Bar did penalize him. The case is with the Supreme Court for finalization to see if the penalties were strong enough or not strong enough. (He agreed to the State Bar's stipulations).
My understanding though is if we did sue him and won, we could ask for a portion of all the future cases providing he was paid.
I know I am not the only one that is in this type of dilema and I think it says alot for the principle of the matter and gives future
and current incompetent attorneys a reason not to pay for malpractice insurance when they know none of their clients will ever find someone to represent them in a lawsuit against them. (We have been told by numerous attorneys that we have a winnable case & that the original personal injury was a very winnable case.)

[This message has been edited by oreo (edited March 31, 2000).]

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