California Legal Malpractice
If you hired an attorney to help you resolve a legal problem, but your attorney failed to adhere to the standards of the practice and you suffered loss as a result, you may be uncertain how to begin to seek recovery for any damages. Taking legal action against an attorney for legal malpractice is not for the inexperienced or unqualified attorney. A lawyer facing legal malpractice will fight back at all costs. You want a lawyer who is not afraid to hold other members of the bar accountable for their negligence or carelessness - someone who has successfully protected other victims of legal malpractice.
We handle all types of claims involving allegations of legal malpractice, including:
- Missing a statute of limitations;
- Failing to respond to motions or attend court hearings;
- Breaching an attorney’s fiduciary duty, i.e., placing the interests of the attorney above the interests of the client;
- Negligence, or failing to follow commonly accepted standards of practice, including serious trial errors, offering advice in an area where the attorney has no knowledge or expertise, or failing to properly investigate claims or gather evidence; and,
- Improper collection or use of funds, such as collecting fees for services not rendered or using client fees before they have been earned.
We handle legal malpractice claims involving most areas of the law, including: estate planning, real estate, personal injury, business matters, intellectual property, and fraud. We will pursue malpractice claims against sole practitioners as well as the big “white shoe” firms. Many of the legal malpractice cases we handle are referred to us by other lawyers who recognize that prior counsel failed to meet the standards of practice.
Real Estate Malpractice
In California, real estate professionals, such as agents and brokers, are required to conduct their transactions in accordance with laws, regulations, and the accepted “standard of care” in the real estate profession. They also have a fiduciary duty to their clients to act in their client’s best interests as they represent and advise them about a real estate transaction. When real estate professionals breach the required standard of care or their fiduciary duty to their client, the client may have a claim for real estate malpractice.
Some common grounds that may give rise to a claim for real estate malpractice are:
- Fraud or intentional misrepresentation, which occurs when a real estate agent or broker intentionally misrepresents a material fact about the property or the transaction;
- Negligent misrepresentation, which occurs when a real estate agent or broker unintentionally misrepresents a material fact about the property or the transaction;
- Breach of contract, which occurs when a real estate professional violates the terms of the brokerage agreement that exists between them and the client; and,
Premises liability, which occurs when a real estate professional knew about, but failed to disclose, a dangerous condition on the property which resulted in injury to a client.
In addition to having attorneys on your team who focus on general legal malpractice, it is important to have experts specifically for intellectual property legal malpractice cases who understand the complex areas of intellectual property law involving patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret law.
TLG provides a unique combination of specialized experience in prosecuting legal malpractice cases working with experts with years of experience in areas involving intellectual property issues. This experience and expertise allows us to effectively analyze and prosecute legal malpractice in complex and technical intellectual property areas. We never hesitate to bring a case to trial when it is in the best interests of our clients. However, our specialized background and experience often allow us to successfully settle cases before trial.
The following areas are commonly involved in intellectual property malpractice:
- Patents, including malpractice in connection with matters such as patent prosecution, patentability determinations, inventorship determinations, infringement opinions, and general enforcement, including prosecuting or defending infringement lawsuits;
- Trademarks, including malpractice in connection with matters such as clearances, applications for registration, conducting and analyzing confusion surveys, infringement opinions, infringement and enforcement actions, and anti-piracy programs;
- Copyrights, including malpractice in connection with determination of copyrightable materials, copyright registration, copyright transfers, infringement enforcement, and anti-piracy efforts; and,
Trade secrets, including malpractice in connection with proper identification of protectable trade secret information and materials, trade secret protection, nondisclosure agreements, infringement enforcement, and trade secret disputes.