Archive for January 2009

Genius Texas Legislature Is At It Again

In 2003, the Texas Legislature changed the landscape for residential construction litigation. They created the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC)and also set up a “dispute resolution process” that most construction defect cases had to go through before proceeding in the court setting. The law is a disaster for homeowners. Cases sit in the process for…

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Please Use A Car or Booster Seat

The Austin American Statesman reported that an unrestrained 2 year old was critically injured after being ejected from his vehicle during a wreck. As a parent, I don’t think there is anything we can do that is more important that protecting our kids.  And properly using a car seat or booster seat is one of…

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Legal Malpractice By Neglect

A trial last week was a great example of a common malpractice scenario: simple neglect of the file. A jury rendered a $338,000.00 verdict against a lawyer that simply refused to prosecute a worker’s compensation claim. According to an article discussing the case, the lawyer was hired, but the case was dismissed for failure to…

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What Martin Luther King, Jr Day Means To Lawyers

I wanted to write something as a tribute appropriate for this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, but I was searching around for a something that inspired me, and I was coming up empty.  But then, a note in my inbox pointed me to a blog post from Kelly Erb at the Taxgirl blog.  Kelly put…

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Go All In On Contingent Fees

I’m a few days behind on my magazines (actually, more than that judging by the pile on my desk) so I just got around to reading my January 5, 2009 Texas Lawyer, which contains an article entitled  DOWN MARKETS REQUIRE CREATIVE CHOICES: Use Flexible Fee Structuring To Add Clients In Tough Times. In the article, the…

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Sometimes Lawyers That Make Errors Can Get Off The Hook

The US Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals decided a case yesterday that demonstrates that ethics violations aren’t enough in legal malpractice claims.  Greatly simplifying the case, the law firm, Dorsey & Whitney, prepared a package of loans for an investment bank.  The investment bank sold the package to 32 independent banks who loaned the money to the…

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Deaths From Austin Motorcycle Wrecks Double

Austin American Statesman writer Tony Plohetski reported this morning that in 2008, the number of deaths in Austin motorcycle crashes more than doubled.  From the article: The deaths have become part of an alarming reality in Austin: The number of people killed in motorcycle crashes last year more than doubled from 2007, rising from eight…

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Blackwater's Legal Malpractice Claim Is Thrown Out Again

I’ve chronicled the suit filed by Blackwater against its law firm, Wiley Rein. After losing a suit brought by the families of four employees who were killed in Iraq, Blackwater sued the firm saying that the firm committed legal malpractice by not invoking the proper statute in an effort to remove the suit from state…

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Blackwater's Legal Malpractice Claim Thrown Out

We had earlier reported that defense contractor, Blackwater, filed a legal malpractice case against its law firm for failing to properly remove the case to federal court, where Blackwater thought the wrongful death claims brought against it would be dismissed. Today, the Blog of Legal Times, reports that the legal malpractice claims were dismissed. The…

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Saying "I'm Sorry" To Prevent Legal Mal Claims

A few weeks ago, I posted portions of a speech I gave that discussed  “8 Ways to Avoid Legal Malpractice Claims.”  Number 5 on that list was: 5. Say “I’m Sorry.”  If you make a mistake, you have an obligation to tell your client, and in the process, let them know that you’re sorry.  A simple…

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