LEGAL MALPRACTICE – DIVORCE CASE
Legal malpractice can occur in many different ways. It can occur as a result of a missed deadline for filing your lawsuit, failing to properly investigate your case, a botched trial, failure to meet trial deadlines, settling your case for an amount less than what your case is worth, and numerous other scenarios. Not all errors are necessarily malpractice. There are certain risks that arise in the practice of the law. The fact that there was a poor outcome of your case does not necessarily mean that the lawyer can be held liable.
To be held liable, the lawyer’s actions must have fallen below the “standard of care.” Not only must the lawyer have caused you damages, but your damages must result from the lawyer not following the proper standard of care.
Legal malpractice claims must be filed within a certain time period. If the claims are not filed within these time limits, then the client and/or his/her family will forever lose their right to bring a claim against the lawyer. The Law Office of Paul Snow has experience in handling legal malpractice claims and works with the finest legal experts to insure that the outcome of these claims are successful.
The last legal malpractice case that I handled involved a wife who was represented by her lawyer in a divorce case. The lawyer negligently prepared her property settlement agreement. After her ex-husband retired from the National Guard (federal benefits) and Mississippi Highway Patrol (state benefits), the ex-wife was receiving approximately $3,000 per month. This $3,000 per month was supposed to be paid according to the parties’ intent after the death of the ex-husband. When the ex-husband died, the ex-wife’s benefits were cut off and paid to the present wife of the deceased ex-husband. At that time, the ex-wife realized that her lawyer messed up her property settlement agreement. The property settlement agreement was prepared in approximately November of 2003. The ex-wife’s benefits were cut off in 2010, approximately seven years later, immediately after her ex-husband passed away. The lawyer who messed up the property settlement agreement filed suit to try to recover the benefits for the ex-wife, but was unsuccessful for numerous reasons, one of which was the ex-husband was deceased and there was no provision in the property settlement agreement to guarantee her payments after his death.
Thereafter, the ex-wife hired my law firm in 2013 (ten years after the divorce) to make a claim for legal malpractice against her divorce lawyer for negligently handling her divorce matter and property settlement agreement. The amount of the ex-wife’s claim for the benefits alone totaled over $860,000 ($3,000 per month x 12 months =$36,000/year for 24 future years). The ex-wife also claimed damages for mental anguish, attorney fees, and punitive damages. After totally working up the case, including hiring expert witnesses, we were able to settle the claim against the divorce lawyer’s insurance company for the policy limits in existence at the time.
If you or a loved one believes they were damaged as a result of legal negligence of a lawyer, contact Paul Snow online or call 601-969-1977 to discuss your legal rights. There is no fee to discuss your case with Paul Snow. We represent clients in Hinds County, Madison County, Rankin County, Copiah County, Warren County, or Jackson, Biloxi, Brandon, Brookhaven, Canton, Clarksdale, Clinton, Columbus, Flowood, Greenwood, Greenville, Gulfport, Hazelhurst, Hattiesburg, Laurel, Madison, McComb, Meridian, Natchez, Olive Branch, Oxford, Pascagoula, Pearl, Ridgeland, Southhaven, Starkville, Tupelo and Vicksburg.
Please be advised that there are time limits within which to sue your lawyer, so please call now to discuss your case so the time does not run out on you.