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Multimillionaire says divorce settlement due to legal malpractice

In many New Jersey divorce cases, the most contested issue is that of property division. Because New Jersey law requires a fair and equitable division of marital property, those who are getting divorced benefit from working with attorneys who will ensure that their interests are protected. In some cases, when attorneys fail to act with competence and protect their clients' interests, someone may receive an unnecessarily unfavorable divorce settlement.

In Colorado, a very high-asset divorce has led to a legal malpractice lawsuit after one of the former spouses felt that he was forced to pay his ex-wife an unnecessarily large divorce settlement because his lawyers had botched his prenuptial agreement.

The multimillionaire reportedly crafted a prenuptial agreement with the assistance of a legal team in 1983, and when he recently divorced he was made to pay his ex-wife a $30 million settlement. He says this is because his former attorneys failed to address shortcomings in their prenuptial agreement.

In his legal malpractice claim, he is requesting that the now defunct law firm compensate him $30 million.

The man is also accusing the law firm of mishandling the sale of his former home.

While we do not have enough information about this case to speculate as to whether legal malpractice does exist here, this case is an example of the recourse that is available to those who are victims of legal malpractice. When lawyers fail to know the law, fail to follow their client's instructions or have conflicts of interest, among other issues, it is possible to seek compensation for damages with a legal malpractice claim.

Source: Aspen Daily News, "Aspen real-estate firm being subpoenaed in malpractice suit," Chad Abraham, March 8, 2013

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