A convicted criminal defendant need not prove his actual innocence in order to sue his attorney for malpractice in connection with civil commitment proceedings under the Sexually Violent Predator Act. Every person subject to the Act has been convicted. To require proof of actual innocence would virtually preclude a suit for malpractice in the course of a Sexually Violent Predator Act proceeding. Nothing in the act, which is highly punitive enough as it is, indicates a legislative intent to deprive defendants of the ability to sue their lawyers for malpractice.
California Court of Appeal, Third District (Renner, J.); February 10, 2017; 2017 WL 543329