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St. Mary's University

Journal

Lawyer ethics

Litigation

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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 …