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June 2015 Archives

Attorney convicted in New Jersey for mail fraud

The proper handling of client funds is one of the central ethical responsibilities for any attorney. Intermingling of client monies with personal accounts, or misuse or misappropriation of client funds is one of the surest ways for at attorney to face ethical disciplinary measures up to and including disbarment. The more serious of these misdeeds can also result in criminal charges.

Social media becomes arena for legal malpractice accusation

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are well known as places to meet friends, make acquaintances and even to try to make money. The New Jersey Supreme Court has recently taken up a case in which two attorneys have allegedly used a social media site to expand the frontiers of unethical legal practices.

Common legal malpractice claims

An attorney commits legal malpractice when he or she fails to comply with the state's code of ethics, or rules of professional conduct. In New Jersey, there are over 50 rules of professional conduct. This means that an attorney can commit legal malpractice in a variety of ways. Some claims of legal malpractice are more common than others.

Basic elements of a legal malpractice case

Although you may believe that your attorney’s failure to know the law was the reason your case was thrown out of court, proving that your lawyer committed legal malpractice might not be a sure thing. Proving malpractice against an attorney is difficult. Even cases in which a lawyer’s missing a deadline/violating a statute of limitations left you unable to pursue a civil claim against another party might not be legal malpractice.

When is missing a filing deadline not legal malpractice?

For an attorney, missing the legal claim filing deadline imposed by an applicable statute of limitations is an easy way not only to jeopardize the client's case but also to find himself involved in another lawsuit -- this one as a defendant in a legal malpractice action. If the circumstances of missing a filing deadline indicate negligence or inattentiveness on the part of the lawyer, New Jersey courts can be harsh in holding him to account.

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