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no insurance=no liability??!!

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What is the name of your state? Calif.

I have a question about attorney malpractice that I'm hoping somebody can shed some light on. Assuming there is a valid basis for a malpractice suit against an attorney, is it true that there is no recourse against a lawyer if he does not have malpractice insurance? I am trying to recover substantial losses caused by my attorney in his "mishandling" of two cases. The malpractice itself is clear, as is the damage he caused. I have a new attorney who is currently attempting to recover my case files from a very uncooperative former attorney. But he informed me that, should we discover that there was no insurance coverage, there is little hope. This man cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars, left me disabled, in pain, and on the streets as a direct result of deceit, incompetence, and refusal to hand my files over to another attorney to properly handle the cases. I can't understand why he would be held accountable if insured, but get away with this if not covered. Isn't he still personally liable? Shouldn't lack of coverage stand as a point against him, not something that works in his favor? I really don't understand how that makes any sense. If I caused extreme damages knowingly to someone, any personal assets of mine would be at risk. How can it be otherwise for an attorney? Does anybody have any helpful info? Thanks!!



You misunderstood your new attorney. Insurance has no dog in this fight. The old attorney is either guilty of malpractice or he is not.

Insurance would only play a part IF he is found guilty. Then the malpractice insurance would pay the amount awarded up to the coverage not including the deductable.

However, NOT having malpractice insurance simply means that IF you win and are awarded damages, you will have to go after the assets of the former attorney. And if he has no assets, then you're out of luck.


Unless your attorney beat you physically and threw you on the street, you are exxagerating your post significantly. Are you posting on a computer from the homeless shelter?

Having insurance doesnt change the liability issue, however as a practical matter, most malpractice attorneys are reluctant to go after an uninsured attorney. They want to know that there are "deep pockets" available to pay any award they might get.

Its the same as if I were to sue you: From what you posted, you are disabled, broke, and in the streets. if you did something to harm me (say negilgently ran me over with your car) and I wanted to sue you, I could, and even if you are found liable, how could I collect if youre broke? I cant, so I might as well forget about suing. But if you had auto liability INSURANCE, I could sue you knowing that your policy is going to pay out. So I WILL sue, and I could easily find an atty willing to take the case.

get it?


Advicesucks- I appreciate your reply, although it is somewhat presumptuous of you to jump to any conclusions regarding the validity of the case without the benefit of any details. And yes, I am quite familiar with the concept of "deep pockets" vs. "not worth the trouble". The attorney in question has assets greater than the damages. I apologize if I did not make myself clear enough... He has the ability to pay, but it would constitute a hardship and might cost him his house. (I am not privvy to all his financial holdings. I know only that he owns a house in San Diego.) As it was explained to me, a judge would probably not issue a judgment that would take away his home even if his actions made him deserving of that sacrifice.

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