Successful defense of legal malpractice action against criminal defense lawyer

October 20, 2017

Issue

Our client, a lawyer, was sued for legal malpractice by her former client, whom she represented in a criminal case. The plaintiff was convicted and sentenced to prison in the underlying criminal case.  Plaintiff’s claims relied entirely on protestations of his actual innocence of the underlying crime.

Approach

We filed a Motion for Summary Judgment because Plaintiff was collaterally estopped from asserting in a legal malpractice case that he is actually innocent of the criminal charges for which he was convicted.  As a result, we argued that a claim for legal malpractice that relies on the allegation of actual innocence fails as a matter of law.

Result

The Court granted our Motion for Summary Judgment and dismissed the claims against our client with prejudice.

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