Skip to Content (Press Enter)

Skip to Nav (Press Enter)

Legal Malpractice

Subscribe to California Appellate Tracker

Thank you for your desire to subscribe to Severson & Werson’s Appellate Tracker Weblog. In order to subscribe, you must provide a valid name and e-mail address. This too will be retained on our server. When you push the “subscribe button”, we will send an electronic mail to the address that you provided asking you to confirm your subscription to our Weblog. By pushing the “subscribe button”, you represent and warrant that you are over the age of 18 years old, are the owner/authorized user of that e-mail address, and are entitled to receive e-mails at that address. Our weblog will retain your name and e-mail address on its server, or the server of its web host. However, we won’t share any of this information with anyone except the Firm’s employees and contractors, except under certain extraordinary circumstances described on our Privacy Policy and (About The Consumer Finance Blog/About the Appellate Tracker Weblog) Page. NOTICE AND AGREEMENT REGARDING E-MAILS AND CALLS/TEXT MESSAGES TO LAND-LINE AND WIRELESS TELEPHONES: By providing your contact information and confirming your subscription in response to the initial e-mail that we send you, you agree to receive e-mail messages from Severson & Werson from time-to-time and understand and agree that such messages are or may be sent by means of automated dialing technology. If you have your email forwarded to other electronic media, including text messages and cellular telephone by way of VoIP, internet, social media, or otherwise, you agree to receive my messages in that way. This may result in charges to you. Your agreement and consent also extend to any other agents, affiliates, or entities to whom our communications are forwarded. You agree that you will notify Severson & Werson in writing if you revoke this agreement and that your revocation will not be effective until you notify Severson & Werson in writing. You understand and agree that you will afford Severson & Werson a reasonable time to unsubscribe you from the website, that the ability to do so depends on Severson & Werson’s press of business and access to the weblog, and that you may still receive one or more emails or communications from weblog until we are able to unsubscribe you.

Plaintiff filed a Chapter 11 and was debtor-in-possession until the bankruptcy appointed a trustee in her stead.  Following dismissal of the bankruptcy case, plaintiff sued her bankruptcy attorney for malpractice.  Held:  Plaintiff cannot sue the attorney, without bankruptcy court approval, for malpractice committed while attorney for plaintiff as debtor in possession.  The bankruptcy court appoints the attorney for the debtor-in-possession,… Read More

Following Charnay v. Cobert (2006) 145 Cal.App.4th 170 and E-Pass Technologies, Inc. v. Moses & Singer, LLP (2010) 189 Cal.App.4th 1140, this decision reverses a summary judgment for the defendant attorneys in this malpractice action based on the allegation that the attorneys failed to warn plaintiff of the disadvantages of bringing the underlying suit in California where the defendant could… Read More

In this attorney malpractice case, the trial court properly ruled against plaintiff on the case-within-a-case, establishing that the underlying insurance claim had no merit, so the attorney's negligence in not filing suit in a timely manner did not cause plaintiff's loss.  The insurance claim arose under a contractor's CGL policy, and the policy's own work exclusion clearly barred insurance coverage… Read More

California could not exercise specific personal jurisdiction over a Virginia law firm and its lawyers.  The lawyers had done nothing to avail themselves of California's benefits.  They had a website with minimum interactivity not directed to California residents in particular but rather to veterans throughout the country.  The lawyers had Virginia bar licenses, not California ones.  Though plaintiff (their client)… Read More

Following Wiley v. County of San Diego (1997) 19 Cal.4th 532, this decision affirms dismissal of a malpractice complaint against a criminal defense attorney.  The plaintiff alleged that due to the attorney's negligent representation, plaintiff ended up agreeing to pay civil tax fraud penalties as part of a plea bargain in a criminal tax fraud prosecution.  To sue the defense… Read More

The trial court properly entered a directed verdict against plaintiff in this legal malpractice action.  Although plaintiff alleged the defendant divorce lawyer was negligent in other ways, he presented expert testimony only with respect to the failure to hire a forensic accountant to counter the wife's claim for spousal support payments.  The other alleged acts of negligence were not so… Read More

For limitations purposes, the client discovered malpractice claim against a lawyer who structured a transaction when the other party to the transaction threatened to sue client based on the transaction’s structure. Read More

When the basis for a claim of breach of fiduciary duty arises from the same facts and seeks the same relief as a plaintiff’s attorney negligence claim for malpractice, the claim for breach of fiduciary duty is duplicative and should be dismissed.  Read More

Trial court did not err by giving jury instructions on comparative negligence in legal malpractice claim brought against plaintiff’s former lawyer for drafting a trust instrument for the plaintiff that did not retain the character of her separate property, since plaintiff had herself read and understood relevant portions of the trust before signing it.  Read More

One-year statute of limitations on legal malpractice claim started running when defendant law firm filed a motion to withdraw from representing plaintiff—not when the court later granted that motion.  Read More

A convicted criminal defendant need not demonstrate actual innocence in order to sue his attorney for malpractice in connection with civil commitment proceedings under the Sexually Violent Predator Act.  Read More

Plaintiff's suit against her former attorney was barred by the one-year statute of limitations on legal malpractice because, even though plaintiff sought to allege claims for breach of contract and the like, ultimately her claims depended upon allegations that the attorney had not performed his professional duties in the proper manner.  Read More

Legal malpractice claim filed more than a year after client’s acceptance of attorney’s withdrawal was properly dismissed as time-barred, and retainer agreement attorney fee clause was broad enough to cover a malpractice claim whether sounding in tort or contract.  Read More