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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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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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