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Legal Malpractice

Jul 14, 2016

Lawyer’s alleged failure to communicate spurs malpractice suit

A professional negligence lawsuit against a Rocky Mount attorney has been revived by a North Carolina Court of Appeals decision that reads like a cautionary tale highlighting the importance of sending follow-up correspondence in writing to potential clients so they don’t get the wrong idea about the relationship. The case centers on whether solo personal […]

Apr 21, 2016

Appeals court considers client misconduct in legal malpractice case

If you’re planning to file a malpractice lawsuit against your legal team, it’s probably best to ensure you haven’t broken the law yourself—even if it was allegedly done on the advice of counsel. In an April 9 North Carolina Court of Appeals decision, a three-judge panel upheld the dismissal of William Freedman’s legal malpractice claim. […]

Apr 5, 2016

Attorneys – Tort/Negligence – Legal Malpractice Claim – In Pari Delicto – Criminal Practice – Plea Bargain

Freedman v. Payne (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-106-16, 11 pp.) (Rick Elmore, J.) Appealed from New Hanover County Superior Court (Robert Hobgood, J.) N.C. App. Holding: Even if plaintiff’s criminal prosecution for releasing hog waste into U.S. waters was complex, plaintiff intentionally lied under oath in order to benefit from an alleged side deal with the […]

Feb 5, 2015

Survey says… Not much

A recent South Carolina Bar survey shows that very few attorneys are willing to say whether they have legal malpractice insurance.

Jan 21, 2015

Attorneys — Tort/Negligence – Legal Malpractice – Real Property – Powers of Attorney

Williams v. Lynch (Lawyers Weekly No. 15-16-0066, 20 pp.) (Linda McGee, Ch. J.) Appealed from Mecklenburg County Superior Court (Eric Levinson, J.) N.C. App. Holding: Even though plaintiff did not sign a document that purported to allow her attorney-in-fact to be paid the proceeds of the sale of plaintiff’s land, plaintiff did sign two powers […]

Dec 9, 2014

Attorneys — Tort/Negligence – Legal Malpractice – Contributory Negligence – Real Property – Subordination Agreement & Satisfaction Notice

Keyes v. Delk (Lawyers Weekly No. 14-16-1137, 20 pp.) (Douglas McCullough, J.) Appealed from Caldwell County Superior Court (James Morgan, J.) N.C. App. Unpub. Holding: Plaintiff admitted that he read the 2009 subordination agreement and the 2010 satisfaction notice presented to him by the defendant-attorney, did not understand them, but did not ask the attorney […]

Apr 23, 2014

Attorneys – Tort/Negligence – Legal Malpractice Claim – Case Within a Case – Fraud – Insufficient Allegations

Bryant/Sutphin Properties, LLC v. Hale (Lawyers Weekly No. 14-16-0359, 9 pp.) (Chris Dillon, J.) (Guilford County Superior Court (Richard Doughton, J.) N.C. App. Unpub. Holding: The plaintiff-clients failed to prove their case within a case, i.e., that their bank had defrauded them; therefore, the clients failed to prove that the defendant-attorneys committed legal malpractice when […]

Oct 11, 2013

Davidson lawyer hit with $800K malpractice verdict

A Davidson lawyer accused of legal malpractice for bungling his representation of a company that sells Christmas ornaments has come out on the wrong side of a nearly $800,000 verdict in federal court.

Mar 6, 2013

Attorneys – Tort/Negligence – Legal Malpractice Claim – Civil Practice – Statute of Repose – Taxation

Carle v. Wyrick, Robbins, Yates & Ponton, LLP Even if plaintiffs’ cause of action did not accrue until the IRS issued a final assessment in 2010, and even though the defendant-attorneys continued to provide services to plaintiffs on related matters, since the attorneys’ role in plaintiffs’ business transaction – which resulted in their tax liability – was complete on June 1[...]

Jun 12, 2012

Attorneys – Tort/Negligence – Legal Malpractice – Standard of Care – Bankruptcy – Damages

Miller v. Orcutt The standard of care for a bankruptcy attorney is the same in the Western District of North Carolina as it is in the Eastern District of North Carolina; therefore, the plaintiff-clients could present the testimony of a bankruptcy attorney from the Western District to establish the standard of care in a legal malpractice case against a bankruptcy attorney in the Eastern Di[...]

Mar 19, 2012

Corporate – Merger – Civil Practice – Pleadings Amendment – Relation Back – Real Party in Interest – Intellectual Property – Patent Application – Tort/Negligence – Attorneys – Legal Malpractice

Revolutionary Concepts, Inc. v. Clements Walker PLLC Although an inventor had assigned his patent rights to a Nevada corporation, a North Carolina corporation hired the defendant-law firm to apply for the patents. The Nevada corporation filed this action to assert its rights as assignee. Subsequently, the two corporations merged, with the Nevada corporation being the surviving entity. The[...]

Feb 8, 2012

Attorneys – Tort/Negligence – Legal Malpractice – Civil Practice – Collateral Estoppel – Statute of Limitations

Royster v. McNamara In a prior fraud case against the current plaintiff — Kevin Royster — and other employees in a family business, the family’s motion for a new trial was denied, and this court affirmed the denial. However, in the fraud case, both the jury instructions and the new trial motion applied to the family as a group and not to Mr. Royster individually. There was evidence [...]

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