Friday, March 19, 2010

Attorney's Responsibility for the Acts of Others

Attorney’s have a duty to actively supervise the people who work for them and may be responsible for errors their employees commit if it is shown that the attorney was negligent in his supervisory duties.

The associates, secretaries and law clerks who work with attorneys may be in charge of important matters like drafting documents and filing papers with the court. When they fail to follow through, clients may be seriously damaged. For example, if a paralegal fails to timely file a lawsuit with the court, the client may never be able to pursue their law suit as a result of the paralegal blowing the deadline. In instances like this, the attorney who employs the paralegal would ultimately be responsible for the paralegal’s acts that are within the scope their employment. This might result on valid grounds for the client to bring a legal malpractice law suit in Connecticut and we can help.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Damages in a Connecticut Legal Malpractice Claim

When lawyers refer to “damages” in a civil lawsuit, they are talking about money the defendant may be ordered to pay to the plaintiff as compensation for his or her injuries or losses. In a civil lawsuit, if the plaintiff wins, the monetary compensation they receive will depend on the facts of the case and the court in which the lawsuit was filed.

Damages in legal malpractice are dependent on two things. First, the state law that is applicable to the case. Second, the facts surrounding the original case (the case the attorney is accused of mishandling).Typically, the damages in a Connecticut legal malpractice lawsuit will be based on what the plaintiff would have won in the original case if the attorney had not been negligent.

Though this list is not exhaustive, some of the basic rules concerning damages in Connecticut legal malpractice lawsuits are:

* If you would have won compensatory damages (money that pays for your loss, like your totaled car and your injuries in an auto accident) as the plaintiff in a civil lawsuit, but your attorney's screw up caused you to lose the suit, you may be able to collect that amount from the attorney. If you were a defendant in a law suit, and your attorney's screw up caused a judgment ordering you to pay the plaintiff, you may be able to collect that amount from the attorney.

* Sometimes, courts award punitive damages to plaintiffs. Punitive damages are awarded when the defendant is found to have acted recklessly. In Connecticut, if you would have won punitive damages in your original case had the attorney not screwed up the case; you may be able to collect these damages from the attorney in your lawsuit for legal malpractice.

* You also may be able to recover any expenses and legal fees that you paid in order to correct the problems caused by the negligent attorney.

We can help clients who have been damaged by the negligence of their lawyer. Legal malpractice is a serious matter; contact us immediately if you think your lawyer has committed legal malpractice because we can help.