Personal Injury Newsletters

Attorney Liability for Another Attorney’s Malpractice

An attorney may be held liable for committing legal malpractice while representing a client. Legal malpractice occurs when an attorney fails to use such skill, prudence, and diligence as lawyers of ordinary skill and capacity possess and exercise. In addition, other parties may be held liable for that attorney’s misbehavior.

Attorney Malpractice Liability to Non-Client

In the course of an attorney’s representation of a client, he may commit legal malpractice with respect to his prosecution, defense, or appeal of the client’s action or his preparation of transactional documents for the client. The attorney’s actions may constitute legal malpractice if he fails to use the skill, prudence, and diligence that attorneys of ordinary skill and capacity would use in performing their legal tasks. In addition to being liable to the client, the attorney may also be liable to a non-client in certain circumstances.

Custom as Proof of Negligence

In some circumstances, custom may be used as proof of negligence in a personal injury action. For example, a worker in a sawmill is injured when he or she accidentally puts his or her hand onto the blade of an electric saw.

Liability of Partners and Joint Venturers

Generally, each member of a partnership or joint venture is vicariously liable for the wrongful conduct of another member if the wrongful conduct occurs within the scope and course of the affairs of the partnership or joint venture. Therefore, each member of a partnership or joint venture will be liable for personal injuries caused by another member’s negligence if the negligence occurs within the scope and course of the affairs of the business.

Proving Defamation Damages

A lawsuit for defamation has the following basic elements: (1) making a false statement; (2) about a person; (3) to others; and (4) actual damages (if the harm to the person is not apparent). There is a fifth element when the person is a public official or public figure. In such a case, the person who made the statement has to have made it with a known or reckless disregard of the truth. This article discusses the fourth element, actual damages.