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New York Appellate Court Adopts Broad Causation Standard in Legal Malpractice Case

Generally, in a legal malpractice case the plaintiff must prove that it would have achieved a better result, but for the attorney’s malpractice. In the litigation context, this means that the plaintiff must prove that it would have succeeded on the underlying claim or defense, but for the attorney negligence, often referred to as proving the “case within the case.” In the transactional context, the plaintiff often uses the “better deal, no deal” dichotomy to prove causation. Under the “no deal” prong, the plaintiff can prove causation by establishing that, but for the attorney negligence, it would have achieved a better result had it not entered into the transaction at issue. Alternatively, under the “better deal” prong, the plaintiff can succeed by proving that, but for the legal malpractice, it would have achieved a better result through a better and different “deal” or agreement than the transaction at issue. A New York appellate court in Leggiadro, Ltd. V. Winston & Strawn applied a broad and plaintiff friendly interpretation of the “better deal” prong of this causation paradigm.

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Colorado’s New Law On Proving Collectibility In Legal Malpractice Actions

When clients are harmed by the malpractice of a lawyer, they oftentimes face a second, potentially more complicated lawsuit. The plaintiff-clients must prove the underlying case against the original defendant(s) in which the lawyer committed malpractice, and they must prove the negligence of the defendant-lawyer in order to win the malpractice action. While Colorado courts have long recognized that the solvency or insolvency of the underlying defendant must be proven in a legal malpractice case, the courts had not, until recently, answered the question of whether that responsibility lies with the plaintiff or defendant lawyer.

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How Lawyers Should Approach Situations Posing Possible Conflicts of Interest-- Generally

This is the 10th and final of a series of articles, based on a chapter from the 2015 edition of Lawyers’ Professional Responsibility in Colorado by attorney Michael T. Mihm, discussing the current law of conflicts of interest as it applies to Colorado lawyers. It draws upon the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct; the former Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, effective through December 31, 2007 (former Colorado Rules or former Colo. RPC); Colorado appellate decisions; ethics opinions; the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct; the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers (Restatement); and other resources.

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Imputed Conflicts of Interest

This is the ninth of a series of articles, based on a chapter from the 2015 edition of Lawyers’ Professional Responsibility in Colorado by attorney Michael T. Mihm, discussing the current law of conflicts of interest as it applies to Colorado lawyers. It draws upon the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct; the former Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, effective through December 31, 2007 (former Colorado Rules or former Colo. RPC); Colorado appellate decisions; ethics opinions; the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct; the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers (Restatement); and other resources.

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8342 Hits

Client Consent to Conflicts of Interest

This is the eighth of a series of articles, based on a chapter from the 2015 edition of Lawyers’ Professional Responsibility in Colorado by attorney Michael T. Mihm, discussing the current law of conflicts of interest as it applies to Colorado lawyers. It draws upon the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct; the former Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, effective through December 31, 2007 (former Colorado Rules or former Colo. RPC); Colorado appellate decisions; ethics opinions; the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct; the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers (Restatement); and other resources.

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Positional or "Issue" Conflicts

This is the seventh of a series of articles, based on a chapter from the 2015 edition of Lawyers’ Professional Responsibility in Colorado by attorney Michael T. Mihm, discussing the current law of conflicts of interest as it applies to Colorado lawyers. It draws upon the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct; the former Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, effective through December 31, 2007 (former Colorado Rules or former Colo. RPC); Colorado appellate decisions; ethics opinions; the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct; the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers (Restatement); and other resources.

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7077 Hits

Conflicts With Former Clients

This is the sixth of a series of articles, based on a chapter from the 2015 edition of Lawyers’ Professional Responsibility in Colorado by attorney Michael T. Mihm, discussing the current law of conflicts of interest as it applies to Colorado lawyers. It draws upon the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct; the former Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, effective through December 31, 2007 (former Colorado Rules or former Colo. RPC); Colorado appellate decisions; ethics opinions; the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct; the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers (Restatement); and other resources.

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13996 Hits

Conflicts Between a Lawyer's Personal Interests and a Client's Interests

This is the fifth of a series of articles, based on a chapter from the 2015 edition of Lawyers’ Professional Responsibility in Colorado by attorney Michael T. Mihm, discussing the current law of conflicts of interest as it applies to Colorado lawyers. It draws upon the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct; the former Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, effective through December 31, 2007 (former Colorado Rules or former Colo. RPC); Colorado appellate decisions; ethics opinions; the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct; the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers (Restatement); and other resources.

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22117 Hits

Conflicts of Interest Among Clients

This is the fourth of a series of articles, based on a chapter from the 2015 edition of Lawyers’ Professional Responsibility in Colorado by attorney Michael T. Mihm.

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8427 Hits

General Principles of Colorado's Conflict of Interest Rules

This is the third of a series of articles, based on a chapter from the 2015 edition of Lawyers’ Professional Responsibility in Colorado by attorney Michael T. Mihm, discussing the current law of conflicts of interest as it applies to Colorado lawyers. It draws upon the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct; the former Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, effective through December 31, 2007 (former Colorado Rules or former Colo. RPC); Colorado appellate decisions; ethics opinions; the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct; the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers (Restatement); and other resources.

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4342 Hits

What is a Conflict of Interest and What Conflicts of Interest Really Matter

This attorney conflict of interest blog post is based on a chapter from the 2015 edition of Lawyers’ Professional Responsibility in Colorado by attorney Michael T. Mihm, discussing the current law of conflicts of interest as it applies to Colorado lawyers. It draws upon the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct; the former Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, effective through December 31, 2007 (former Colorado Rules or former Colo. RPC); Colorado appellate decisions; ethics opinions; the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct; the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers (Restatement); and other resources.

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3920 Hits

Did Your Lawyer Have A Conflict of Interest?

A series of articles explaining one of the more common legal malpractice claims

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2749 Hits

10 Rules of the Road for Trial Lawyers - Protecting Clients and Preventing Legal Malpractice (Rule 10)

Rule of the Road No. 10: A trial lawyer must treat clients with respect.

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3076 Hits

10 Rules of the Road for Trial Lawyers - Protecting Clients and Preventing Legal Malpractice (Rule 9)

Rule of the Road No. 9: A trial lawyer must take care of his or her physical and mental health.

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2250 Hits

10 Rules of the Road for Trial Lawyers - Protecting Clients and Preventing Legal Malpractice (Rule 8)

Rule of the Road No. 8: A trial lawyer must never “borrow” from a trust account.

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10 Rules of the Road for Trial Lawyers - Protecting Clients and Preventing Legal Malpractice (Rule 7)

Rule of the Road No. 7: A trial lawyer must maintain boundaries with clients.

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4727 Hits

10 Rules of the Road for Trial Lawyers - Protecting Clients and Preventing Legal Malpractice (Rule 6)

Rule of the Road No. 6: A trial lawyer must have written fee agreements.

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2299 Hits

10 Rules of the Road for Trial Lawyers - Protecting Clients and Preventing Legal Malpractice (Rule 5)

Rule of the Road No. 5: A trial lawyer must disclose and resolve conflicts of interest, or withdraw.

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2046 Hits

10 Rules of the Road for Trial Lawyers - Protecting Clients and Preventing Legal Malpractice (Rule 4)

Rule of the Road No. 4: A trial lawyer must tell the client the truth.

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10 Rules of the Road for Trial Lawyers - Protecting Clients and Preventing Legal Malpractice (Rule 3)

Rule of the Road No. 3: A trial lawyer must effectively communicate with clients.

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