Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Title Searches: Fertile Ground for Legal Malpractice in Connecticut

Before issuing a title insurance policy, insurance companies rely on the knowledge and expertise of lawyers to handle title searches. In turn, real estate developers trust attorneys to address Connecticut title related issues. When Connecticut real estate lawyers screw this up, the costs to clients can be through the roof - but we can help.

Before signing off on a title search, lawyers should properly inform their clients of the condition of the title to the real property. If the title is not properly cleared and someone else makes some claim on that property, the client may be faced with costly litigation, or worse a significant devaluation of the property. Improper title searches may result in a client not being aware of easements on their property. Easements and covenants can restrict the owner’s ability to use the land. When these are not known before a real estate transaction is closed, the result is that a client may now own property that is unusable for its intended purpose. These are screw ups that lawyers should never allow to happen – but we can help.

Zoning changes are another key area where real estate lawyers mess up. Real estate is only as valuable as its available uses. When Connecticut lawyers fail to properly address land use issues such as zoning before the real estate transaction is closed, the client may be left with a property they cannot use.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Real Estate Related Legal Malpractice May Be On The Rise

Times have changed. A few years ago, when the real estate market was rising, an attorney’s errors and omissions when handling real estate transactions were often overlooked. If a piece of property proved unsuitable for its intended use after a transaction was completed, the property was often sold at a profit with minimal harm to the client.

However, with the recent downturn in the real estate market, once inconsequential mistakes have become serious liabilities. Real estate related legal malpractice in Connecticut may develop as a result of many different types of errors including, zoning issues, title issues, title insurance issues and contract errors. With the value of property falling rapidly, property owners cannot afford to be seriously harmed by lawyer screw ups surrounding their real estate transaction. These errors are easily avoidable but when they do happen – we can help.

Misrepresenting Potential Damage Awards May Lead to Legal Malpractice in Connecticut

Honest communication between Connecticut lawyers and clients is very important. It is perhaps most important when discussing settlement. When discussing settlement with the opposing side, lawyers cannot keep their clients in the dark.

Cases of legal malpractice in Connecticut often arise out of a lawyer’s failure to keep clients informed of settlement offers from insurance companies in personal injury cases. Often, insurance companies have policy settlement limits that the lawyer is aware of, but the client is not. Seeking to make a quick buck, sometimes lawyers will not even file the law suit at all but will urge the client to settle for the policy settlement limit without informing the client that it is the settlement limit. Lawyers are under an ethical duty to keep their clients reasonably informed when asking them to make settlement decisions. If issues like these arise while your Connecticut attorney is representing you; we can help.