St. Denis & Davey, P.A.

Legal Malpractice Issues

Reality TV star moves ahead with legal malpractice lawsuit

| Apr 5, 2017 | Professional Malpractice Law |

While there is often a tendency to associate legal malpractice with complex areas like real estate or business law, it’s important to understand that legal professionals can — and do — commit actions that are injurious to their clients in all areas of the law from personal injury to bankruptcy.

By way of illustration, a person needn’t look any further than a lawsuit filed by one of the stars of a popular reality television show accusing her former attorney of mishandling her bankruptcy case.  

The reality star in question is none other than Teresa Giudice, one of the fixtures on Bravo TV’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” who was released from federal prison back in December 2015 after serving a 15-month sentence on bankruptcy and fraud-related charges.

According to the legal malpractice lawsuit, her then-attorney’s work in her 2009 bankruptcy was so deficient that it left her no choice but to accept the plea deal that sent her to prison.

Furthermore, it contends that the legal mistakes were so great that in addition to the loss of her freedom, she also suffered lost income, incurred additional legal fees and sustained damage to her professional reputation.

Interestingly, Giudice’s legal malpractice lawsuit was actually filed almost a year ago, but was stayed (i.e., delayed) after her attorneys and the trustee overseeing her bankruptcy case attempted to resolve how any damages ultimately secured would be divided.

The case was revived by a judge in New Jersey just last week, however, following a lifting of the stay by the bankruptcy judge overseeing the underlying bankruptcy.

Specifically, this action was taken after it was decided that any potential damages would be divided roughly equally, with 55 percent going to Giudice and 45 percent being divided among her various creditors.    

Reports indicate that the case likely won’t go to trial until 2018 at the earliest. While there is always the possibility of the two sides reaching a settlement, this doesn’t appear likely at the moment given the defendant-attorney’s contention that he did nothing wrong and was only acting according to the information provided.

Stay tuned for updates …

Please consider speaking with a skilled legal professional if you have serious concerns relating to the services provided by your attorney here in Florida.