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Representative Matters

We represent law firms and lawyers.

We are more than 70 lawyers with deep experience representing law firms and lawyers across the country. Collectively, we have:

  • Defended more than 5000 legal malpractice cases in federal and state jurisdictions from Hawaii to Massachusetts
  • Obtained summary dismissal of more than 1000 legal malpractice claims in federal and state jurisdictions from Florida to California
  • Represented more than 300 lawyers in disciplinary proceedings
  • Tried more than 150 lawyering law* cases to jury verdict
  • Tried more than 100 lawyering law cases to bench judgment
  • Obtained more than 200 published appellate decisions regarding lawyering law
  • Represented more than 150 law firms in FDCPA, contract, employment, corporate, and other matters
  • For 15 years, hosted the Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference, the premier annual event focused on the law and litigation of malpractice claims, legal malpractice insurance and risk management strategies
  • Co-authored 5 editions of the leading treatise in the field, “Legal Malpractice” (5th Ed., West Publishing)

*lawyering law: [loi-er-ing law]
noun
1. law governing issues arising from, decisions or actions taken by a lawyer in the pursuit of his/her profession or the representation of a client.
2. what the attorneys in the Lawyers for the Profession® group do.

Publications

At Hinshaw & Culbertson, we have enormously broad legal malpractice trial court experience involving sophisticated underlying cases within the case. Our recent cases include the following:

Court Proceedings

  • Jury verdict for law firm. Obtained a victory for our law firm client in both the trial and appellate courts in a $16 million legal malpractice claim. We defeated a corporate plaintiff which alleged that our client committed malpractice in failing to tender an insured claim, mishandled a CPA malpractice case, failed to properly document a corporate buy-out transaction, and negligently drafted transfer documents.
  • Jury verdict for law firm. Won a $10 million lawsuit in a federal trial on behalf of a law firm charged with fraud in representing one partner in a non-law firm partnership against the interests of another partner.
  • Summary judgment for AmLaw 200 firm. In a legal malpractice case involving a criminal trial later affirmed on appeal, the malpractice plaintiff was convicted but later obtained habeas corpus relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel. Applying Pennsylvania law, the trial court found that the claim was time-barred because it was not commenced within the applicable period after the termination of the attorney-client relationship. Plaintiff later re-filed his suit in another state, where we successfully removed the case to federal court, had it dismissed on res judicata grounds, and convinced the Third Circuit to affirm.
  • Jury verdict for attorney. We won a malpractice lawsuit brought against our attorney client involving the lawyers’s case evaluation and communication with a client who had been held liable for a $16 million judgment in a partnership dispute.
  • Jury verdict for criminal defense attorney. We represented an assistant public defender in a $4 million malpractice claim by an individual who was convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to 36 years in prison. After being pardoned four years later by the governor, based upon exculpatory DNA evidence, the plaintiff unsuccessfully alleged that the public defender failed to investigate and present biological evidence at trial.
  • Summary judgment for attorney. In a legal malpractice lawsuit involving a murder conviction that was overturned, the plaintiff alleged that the defense lawyers failed to use a peremptory challenge during jury selection. The Seventh Circuit affirmed.
  • Successful defense of law firm in jury trial and appeal. In a legal malpractice case brought by a high-profile former NBA player, the jury found the plaintiff to be 75 percent at fault, which resulted in the verdict being reduced from $8 million to $2 million, before additional setoffs. The net liability of our client was under $1 million, which was less than 15 percent of the plaintiff’s final pre-trial settlement demand.
  • Successful settlement for AmLaw 100 firm. In a legal malpractice claim involving an underlying medical malpractice case, after two days of hearing on trial-related motions, the judge convinced plaintiffs to take a low offer of just over 10 percent of the pretrial demand.
  • Jury verdict for attorneys. We won a unanimous jury verdict for the defense in a California trial court in a legal malpractice case where the plaintiff alleged that its attorneys mishandled franchise litigation, causing it a loss in the millions of dollars.
  • Jury verdict for law firm. We won a defense verdict in a federal district court in a multi-million dollar malpractice suit against a prominent Pennsylvania law firm brought by two Swiss venture capital concerns. The plaintiffs unsuccessfully claimed that our client failed to properly secure their investments in a publicly-traded U.S. medical device company.
  • Dismissal for attorneys upheld on appeal. Won an appeal that upheld the lawyers’ defense in a malicious prosecution case by prevailing on a anti-SLAPP motion. The California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s order granting the anti-SLAPP motion because the plaintiff failed to make the required showing that she would likely prevail on her claims, given that she failed to make a prima facie case of malice against the attorneys.

Arbitrations

  • Award for law firm. Won a defense award where we represented a law firm on a fee claim arising out of a construction defect case. The former clients counterclaimed for malpractice. The arbitrator found in favor of the law firm on both the complaint and counterclaim, and required the former clients to pay the firm the full amount of its claim and all of its attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in the malpractice case.
  • Compelled arbitration for law firm. Compelled arbitration in a $10 million case where we represented a law firm whose clients, relators in a False Claims Act case, filed suit claiming that their fee agreement was void because it violated the California Business & Professional Code. If successful, that would have eliminated the law firm’s contractual right to legal fees in the clients’ recovery.
  • Defense of attorney leading to successful mediation. Successful representation of a transactional lawyer whose services were unwittingly used to close an unauthorized loan utilizing a counterfeit consent of investors, which became the subject of a criminal indictment against an LLC’s manager, and which resulted in more than $2 million in losses. We defeated the aiding and abetting claim and set up the intervening criminality and illegal assignment defenses as the bases for a successful outcome in the mediation.
  • Recovery for patent law firm. Successful recovery for a patent law firm in a multi-million fee dispute arbitration following patent infringement litigation.

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