Legal malpractice can cause people in Florida to suffer substantial losses. A recent verdict in a case in Georgia demonstrates how extensive the losses can be when attorneys engage in malpractice in their representation of clients. Attorneys owe fiduciary duties to their clients and must also be diligent in their representation of them.
According to news reports, a jury returned a verdict of $5.5 million against an Atlanta-based attorney who was sued by a former client who was also the lawyer’s former employee. The plaintiff was a medical doctor and lawyer who had his medical license suspended in Virginia because of a charge involving prescription drugs in Colorado in 2007. The doctor hired the attorney to represent him in front of the Virginia Medical Board. Since he was also a lawyer, the attorney hired him to work on medical malpractice cases for the law firm.
The plaintiff alleged that the attorney settled medical malpractice cases that they had worked on together for more than $10 million but failed to pay the plaintiff his share. He also alleged that the attorney ruined his relationship with the Virginia Medical Board, leading to resuspension of his medical license. Because the attorney engaged in multiple discovery violations during the lawsuit against him, the trial was simply held to determine the amount of damages that he would be forced to pay. In addition to returning a $5.5 million verdict against the attorney, the jury found that punitive damages should also be awarded. There is no information about the punitive damages award yet. The doctor is now practicing law in New York and hopes to regain his medical license in Virginia soon.
People who have suffered significant losses because of the legal malpractice of their lawyers might be able to recover damages for their losses through professional malpractice lawsuits. Experienced legal malpractice law attorneys might review what happened and explain whether the claim has legal merit. If they accept representation, they might work to recover damages in amounts that fairly compensate their clients.