What Is Considered Legal Malpractice Under Louisiana State Law?

Legal malpractice is similar to medical malpractice in that it’s a situation where the attorney falls below the standard of care of other attorneys practicing the same type of law in the same area. Attorneys, however, do not have to go through a medical malpractice review panel like doctors do before a client can file a suit. Clients can go straight to court. Read More

Is There A Statute Of Limitations On Filing A Legal Malpractice Claim?

The statute of limitations is one year from the date you knew or should have known, subject to a three-year preemptive period. Preemption means when those days run, whether you knew or didn’t know about the malpractice, it’s over. Again, that means you have one year from when you knew or should have known, but no more than three years. For instance, if a lawyer writes someone a will but screws it up, that person has one year from the time they knew about the issue to file something. If the issue is only discovered four or five years down the road when that person dies, it’s too late. The three-year preemption kicks in, so there is no longer any responsibility. It doesn’t seem fair, does it? It’s the same thing for doctors, architects, and CPAs, at least in Louisiana. Read More

What Are Common Questions That Your Legal Malpractice Clients Ask You?

Most questions involve a missed deadline. Their attorney missed a deadline, and they want to know what they can do about it. Do they really have a suit against their attorney now? Sometimes, they will ask me about trials if they lost. I have to ask a lot of questions to see whether it was just because they had a bad case of strategy, which is not legal malpractice, only occasionally can that be malpractice. It’s a different story if the attorney missed deadlines on reports in federal cases or witness or exhibit lists and they weren’t allowed to put in evidence. An honest lawyer will tell the client, “I screwed up, and that’s why this crucial witness is not allowed to testify.” Once I hear that from the client, I can go back and go on PACER, which is the federal court website on cases, to check and see whether witnesses were stricken or something like that. If somebody screwed that up, it’s something I can find very quickly. Read More

Jesse L. Wimberly III

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