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St. Mary's University

Journal

Legal Profession

Legal malpractice

Articles 1 - 10 of 10

Full-Text Articles in Law

Professional Responsibility, Legal Malpractice, Cybersecurity, And Cyber-Insurance In The Covid-19 Era, Ethan S. Burger Oct 2021

Professional Responsibility, Legal Malpractice, Cybersecurity, And Cyber-Insurance In The Covid-19 Era, Ethan S. Burger

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, law firms conformed their activities to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and state health authority guidelines by immediately reducing the size of gatherings, encouraging social distancing, and mandating the use of protective gear. These changes necessitated the expansion of law firm remote operations, made possible by the increased adoption of technological tools to coordinate workflow and administrative tasks, communicate with clients, and engage with judicial and governmental bodies.

Law firms’ increased use of these technological tools for carrying out legal and administrative activities has implications …


The Informed Consent Doctrine In Legal Malpractice Law, Vincent R. Johnson Oct 2021

The Informed Consent Doctrine In Legal Malpractice Law, Vincent R. Johnson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The doctrine of informed consent is now deeply embedded into the law of legal ethics. In legal malpractice litigation, the doctrine holds that a lawyer has a duty to disclose to a client material information about the risks and alternatives associated with a course of action. A lawyer who fails to make such required disclosures and fails to obtain informed consent is negligent, regardless of whether the lawyer otherwise exercises care in representing a client. If such negligent nondisclosures cause damages, the lawyer can be held accountable for the client’s losses.

Shifting the focus of a legal malpractice action from …


In The Midst Of Change, A Few Truths Remain—A Review Of Trazenfeld And Jarvis’S Florida Legal Malpractice Law, Jan L. Jacobowitz Ms. Jul 2020

In The Midst Of Change, A Few Truths Remain—A Review Of Trazenfeld And Jarvis’S Florida Legal Malpractice Law, Jan L. Jacobowitz Ms.

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Abstract forthcoming.


Securing Technological Privacy: Modernizing The Texas Disciplinary Rules Of Professional Conduct To Protect Electronic Data, Ashley "Nikki" Vega Jan 2020

Securing Technological Privacy: Modernizing The Texas Disciplinary Rules Of Professional Conduct To Protect Electronic Data, Ashley "Nikki" Vega

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

This comment explains how and why the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct (the “Texas Disciplinary Rules”) should be updated to reflect the modernization of technology. Lawyers must keep abreast of changes in the law and its practices; including those which are technological in nature. The American Bar Association (the “ABA”) recently amended the “technology provisions” of its Model Rules of Professional Conduct (the “Model Rules”); namely Rule 1.1 “Competence” and Rule 1.6 “Confidentiality of Information” in order to keep up with the benefits and risks associated with technology in the legal profession. Additionally, over half of all jurisdictions have …


Mandatory Legal Malpractice Insurance: Exposing Lawyers' Blind Spots, Susan S. Fortney Aug 2019

Mandatory Legal Malpractice Insurance: Exposing Lawyers' Blind Spots, Susan S. Fortney

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The legal landscape for lawyers’ professional liability in the United States is changing. In 2018, Idaho implemented a new rule requiring that lawyers carry legal malpractice insurance. The adoption of the Idaho rule was the first move in forty years by a state to require legal malpractice insurance since Oregon mandated lawyer participation in a malpractice insurance regime. Over the last two years, a few states have considered whether their jurisdictions should join Oregon and Idaho in requiring malpractice insurance for lawyers in private practice. To help inform the discussion, the article examines different positions taken in the debate on …


Legal Malpractice Claims: What The Data Indicate, Vincent R. Johnson Dec 2018

Legal Malpractice Claims: What The Data Indicate, Vincent R. Johnson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Abstract forthcoming


Causation And "Legal Certainty" In Legal Malpractice Law, Vincent R. Johnson Jul 2018

Causation And "Legal Certainty" In Legal Malpractice Law, Vincent R. Johnson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

A line of California cases holds that causation of damages in legal malpractice actions must be proven with “legal certainty.” This Article argues that judicial references to legal certainty are ambiguous and threaten to undermine the fairness of legal malpractice litigation as a means for resolving lawyer-client disputes. Courts should eschew the language of legal certainty and plainly state that damages are recoverable if a legal malpractice plaintiff proves, by a preponderance of the evidence, that those losses were factually and proximately caused by the defendant’s breach of duty.


Keep Suing All The Lawyers: Recent Developments In Claims Against Lawyers For Aiding & Abetting A Client’S Breach Of Fiduciary Duty, Katerina P. Lewinbuk May 2018

Keep Suing All The Lawyers: Recent Developments In Claims Against Lawyers For Aiding & Abetting A Client’S Breach Of Fiduciary Duty, Katerina P. Lewinbuk

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Lawyers have increasingly become subject to liability under various legal theories, ranging from traditional legal malpractice or negligence liability claims to various third-party actions. Most recently, state and federal courts across the country have recognized attorney liability for aiding and abetting a client’s breach of fiduciary duty. This Article will address the current status of the cause of action for a lawyer’s aiding and abetting her client’s breach of fiduciary duty, explain the commonalities and distinguish nuances as outlined by particular states, examine recent decisions by federal courts that have recognized the cause of action, and culminate in its conclusion …


Personal Jurisdiction In Legal Malpractice Litigation, Cassandra Burke Robertson Jan 2016

Personal Jurisdiction In Legal Malpractice Litigation, Cassandra Burke Robertson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Lawyers are increasingly engaging in multi-jurisdictional practice—and their representation is increasingly giving rise to cross­-jurisdictional malpractice actions. Over the years, courts have issued divergent and contradictory opinions about whether out-of-state attorneys representing clients only on out-of-state matters can constitutionally be subject to personal jurisdiction in the client’s home state. The Supreme Court’s recent opinions in Daimler v. Bauman and Walden v. Fiore do little to settle this question and, in fact, may raise more questions than they answer. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court’s new personal jurisdiction jurisprudence offers an opportunity for courts to adopt a more cohesive analysis of personal jurisdiction …


Everyone Makes Mistakes: Attorney's Fee Recovery In Legal Malpractice Suits, Sande L. Buhai Jan 2016

Everyone Makes Mistakes: Attorney's Fee Recovery In Legal Malpractice Suits, Sande L. Buhai

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

This Article argues that the American Rule should be changed for legal malpractice suits because the attorney–client relationship is the quintessential fiduciary relationship and because of the added concern of unequal information available to each party as a result of the large disparity in power. Attorneys must abide by ethical rules and owe fiduciary duties to their clients, which include the duties of competence, diligence, and loyalty. Because it is this very relationship that distinguishes legal malpractice suits from an ordinary lawsuit, awarding attorney’s fees to the damaged plaintiff client helps maintain fiduciary relationships and furthers the interests of justice. …