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2013

Duties

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Litigation Privilege In Texas., Sam Johnson Jan 2013

The Litigation Privilege In Texas., Sam Johnson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Certain Texas cases have arisen where one party in litigation sues the attorney representing an opposing party. In response to such cases, Texas courts promulgated a judicial doctrine generally referred to as the litigation privilege or qualified immunity in order to protect litigants’ right to zealous representation from their attorney. The general rule is that one party to a lawsuit cannot sue the other party’s attorney. However, exceptions to this doctrine exist. This article explores the contours of the litigation privilege in Texas by analyzing the primary Texas cases where one party’s claim against the opposing party’s attorney was dismissed …


Guilt By Association: How “Standby Co-Counsel” Exposes Attorneys To Malicious Prosecution Liability., Colleen V. Lisowski Jan 2013

Guilt By Association: How “Standby Co-Counsel” Exposes Attorneys To Malicious Prosecution Liability., Colleen V. Lisowski

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Attorneys should not assume that lending their name to a case is a risk-free practice. The California appellate decision, Cole v. Patricia A. Meyer & Associates, answered the question of whether non-participating, standby co-counsel could be held liable for malicious prosecution by merely being listed as counsel of record. Cole established the clear message behind being aware of “co-counsel” risks. According to the court, co-counsel cannot escape liability if they failed to know enough about the case. By rejecting the “passive counsel” defense, Cole held that associated attorneys still have a duty to research the validity of a case even …