Monday, June 17, 2013

LEGAL MALPRACTICE: It’s more than just courtroom error. Part III: Is there any way to recover my damages when my lawyer has been disbarred?

With all civil lawsuits seeking monetary damages the question is how will I recover my damages from the defendant?  Generally we first look to determine if there is insurance coverage available.  If it was a motor vehicle accident we look to an automobile insurance policy, in a legal malpractice case we look to see if there is a professional liability policy in effect.  If insurance is not available we would next look to assets of the defendant including specifically real estate.  But where do you look if there is no insurance and the defendant has no assets?

If you have suffered a financial loss due to the dishonest conduct of a member of the Massachusetts Bar in their capacity as your attorney, or a fiduciary, you can seek repayment from Massachusetts Client Security Board (MCSB).  However, it is important to note that there are three requirements for claims submitted to the board:
  1. The attorney must be suspended, disbarred, or deceased;
  2. The claim must be based in theft; and
  3. You must have made reasonable efforts to recover the amount you claim was stolen from your attorney.   This may include first filing a civil action in your local court.
If you are able to present evidence of the theft and the inability to collect from your attorney or its insurer you may be able to recover the full amount stolen from the MCSB.

It’s important to have this alternative avenue of collection because generally a professional liability policy will not cover claims of theft.

Phillips Silver has helped many clients throughout Massachusetts seek recourse against their former attorneys and is ready to discuss your case with you.  Contact us for a free consultation.

The information you obtain on this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult a lawyer for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact Phillips Silver and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail.   Please note, contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.