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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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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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8137 Hits

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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6179 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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18878 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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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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3913 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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3555 Hits

Policy Considerations Behind The Conflict of Interest Rules

The rules regulating lawyers’ conflicts of interest arise out of a number of competing policy concerns. These policy concerns tacitly acknowledge that lawyers are human, and thus vulnerable to the human temptation to put one’s self-interest above another interest, when our job as lawyers is to put our client’s interest ahead of all others, including our own.

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2476 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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2534 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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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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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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4323 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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2071 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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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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10 Rules of the Road for Trial Lawyers - Protecting Clients and Preventing Legal Malpractice (Rule 2)

Rule of the Road No. 2: A trial lawyer must be diligent.

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10 Rules of the Road for Trial Lawyers - Protecting Clients and Preventing Legal Malpractice (Rule 1)

Many of us have adopted and adapted Rick Friedman and Patrick Malone’s seminal Rules of the Road™ concepts for preparing and trying our tort cases1. In this article, I borrow the “Rules of the Road” metaphor to examine how we may better protect our clients and ourselves by both managing our practices and preventing legal malpractice claims. You have heard or read much of what follows before; none of it is new. However, from time to time it is helpful to remind ourselves of the basics of malpractice prevention and its corollary, client protection. Just as airline pilots review pre-flight checklists before every flight even though they have gone through the routine hundreds of times, it is helpful for experienced trial lawyers to review risk management checklists to remind us to do those things that we need to do to protect our firms and our reputations and, most importantly, to protect our clients.

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3184 Hits

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