Before civil cases go to trial in Florida, the parties involved go through what is known as the discovery process. During discovery, attorneys seek to gather evidence that could help them to negotiate a favorable settlement or prevail in court. This is done by requesting documents and asking relevant questions during depositions. If your attorney fails to gather enough evidence to support his or her arguments, you are likely to face an uphill battle as your case progresses.
A former investment company owner convicted of fraud is accusing his lawyer of providing ineffective representation leading to his conviction and imprisonment. The man was convicted of defrauding investors in Florida and across the country of over $200 million. At the time, he headed a firm called Fair Finance, which prosecutors allege he converted into a form of Ponzi scheme, with new money going to pay existing investors and fund the man's lifestyle. In 2012, he was convicted of 12 counts of wire fraud related to his company.
Attorneys in Florida and around the country have fiduciary relationships with their clients. This means that they are ethically bound to act in their best interests at all times. When lawyers breach this duty, they can face professional censure and legal malpractice lawsuits. This is the position an attorney in California found herself in on Oct. 18 when one of her longtime clients filed just such a lawsuit.
Florida residents may know Lenny Dykstra from his days playing baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies. However, he has recently pursued legal action against lawyers who represented him in a case stemming from an incident in 2012. The legal malpractice suit against Boucher LLP was filed in February 2017, and it claims that his attorneys failed to do anything meaningful during a discovery period. According to the complaint, the firm was retained by Dykstra in September 2015.
When clients hire lawyers in Florida and across the country, they expect that their cases will be handled professionally, properly, and with their best interests in mind. However, sometimes a lawyer will drop the ball on your case, resulting in legal malpractice. One example of this is an improper settlement.
A Florida attorney is being accused of a conflict of interest in a case where a pastor is facing criminal charges of child sexual abuse. The pastor allegedly hired a defense attorney who had previously engaged in a romantic relationship with the pastor's accuser in 2012, after she became an adult. According to the plaintiff's lawyer, both the pastor and the lawyer were fully aware of the nature of the relationship. The plaintiff's lawyer argued that the defense lawyer should be disqualified as he could be called as a potential witness by either party in the case.
Lawsuits that are filed in the state of Florida may be subject to statutes of limitation. A statute of limitation is the deadline by which an individual must file a lawsuit or potentially lose the right to do so forever. For instance, the statute of limitations in a personal injury case is generally two years from the date an injury occurred. Alternatively, it could be two years from the time a person first believed that he or she was hurt because of someone else's negligence.
Attorney malpractice can have major ramifications for a client in Florida. However, just because an attorney makes a bad decision doesn't mean that the error was egregious in any way. When determining if an attorney committed malpractice, it's important to figure out if negligence occurred. A negligent act occurs when an individual breaches a duty of care by taking actions that aren't reasonable or prudent.
An attorney hired to represent someone in Florida owes fiduciary duties to the client. According to Chron, one of these duties is confidentiality. In other words, an attorney generally cannot share information about a client except in two specific circumstances: If the breach is in the client's interest, or if the client gives permission. Sharing confidential information about a client when neither of these conditions is present usually represents a breach of the attorney's fiduciary duty to the client.
When you hire an attorney in Florida, you are placing him or her in a position of trust. You count on your attorney to represent your interests in court in a way that you are not able to do. This makes your attorney a fiduciary, i.e., someone with the authority to act in someone else's interest.