Find Lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia for Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants
Practice Area Overview
While former clients are the most common plaintiffs, lawyers and law firms also can be sued by individuals or entities that they never represented. Former clients typically bring claims for legal malpractice (also known as professional negligence), alleging that a lawyer or law firm failed to properly handle a business transaction, lawsuit or some other matter. Depending on the circumstances, the former client may also assert claims for breach of contract or breach of fiduciary duty. Persons who were never clients of a lawyer may be able to bring a professional negligence or breach of fiduciary duty claim against the lawyer if they can show that they were expected to receive the benefit of a lawyer’s services or were otherwise owed a duty by a lawyer. Lawyers also can be sued for allegedly aiding and abetting torts committed by their clients, such as fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, or malicious prosecution.
Lawyers who sue or defend lawyers and law firms need to have the experience and judgment to assess the strengths and weaknesses of these claims and efficiently manage their litigation. Because legal malpractice plaintiffs are obligated to prove that a lawyer’s conduct fell below the standard of care, which is often the subject of expert testimony, lawyers prosecuting and defending legal malpractice claims must understand the applicable law and make effective use of expert testimony. They must also understand, and critically analyze, the plaintiff’s burden of proving that the lawyer’s or firm’s conduct resulted in actual harm, which in many jurisdictions requires a plaintiff to prove “the case within a case.” Some available defenses are unique to legal malpractice cases. Lawyers handling legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty claims should also have a firm grounding in the ethical rules governing lawyers’ conduct, since such claims often arise from alleged violations of those rules and their assertion may implicate a lawyer’s ethical obligations.
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Steve Collins is a partner practicing in the firm’s Litigation & Trial Practice and Securities Litigation Groups. His practice focuses on (1) securities litigation, investigations and enforcement proceedings; (2) financial services litigation; and (3) transaction-based litigation, as the principal components of a commercial litigation practice. Securities Litigation and Investigations: Mr. Collins represents clients in SEC, stock exchange and state securities investigations and enfo...
Joe has represented hundreds of accountants and lawyers in cases alleging malpractice, racketeering, securities fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract. He has represented directors and officers in claims involving finance, real estate, and corporate governance. Joe has particular experience in real estate issues including: RESPA; TILA; title insurance, real estate fraud, and secured lending. He is occasionally asked to try cases outside the state of Georgia usually in matters...
Matt Gass is a Member in the firm's Atlanta office where he handles a variety of litigation matters in state and federal court. He is a commercial litigator with significant experience representing international, national, and regional law firms and accounting firms. His clients have also included trustees, brokers, and businesses. Matt is often retained to advise clients on how to manage risk, limit exposure, and resolve high-stakes disputes. He advises his accounting firm clients concerning...
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