My Duel Life as a Legal Malpractice Defense Expert

One-hundred percent of our law firm’s practice is personal injury cases. We do not and will not take any defense cases even if we believe in the defendant’s case. Yet, last year I found myself on the other side of the coin as a defense expert. I served as a legal malpractice expert for a local defense firm on behalf of a plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyer in Towson. I believe this lawyer did not breach the standard of care according to his version of the facts (and, parenthetically, I believe the most logical version of the facts). Certainly, in this case, under the Plaintiff’s version of the case, the lawyer committed legal malpractice.

While I did not have the slightest trepidation about taking this case or the expert opinions I expressed, it was certainly an odd experience to be back on the defense side for the first time in over six years. Regrettably, from an experience standpoint, the case settled before I had the opportunity to be deposed. It would have been a particularly educational experience, because the legal malpractice lawyer who would have deposed me is a skilled and well prepared lawyer, who would have been effective in challenging my opinions. Taking a different role in a case certainly does change your perspective, and I think helps you think more creatively about your cases. (Similarly, I have been a law professor for over 10 years. It would be interesting to be a student again after all of the exams I have graded over the years. I think being a professor would make me a better student.)

Believe me, I am all in favor of plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyers suing other personal injury lawyers when one of us has breached the standard of care. The whole idea of lawyers “sticking together” is both absurd and wrong. Our lawyers handle legal malpractice cases where the underlying case is a catastrophic personal injury case. But I also think there is an obligation to be willing to come forward and testify on behalf of a fellow personal injury lawyer if you believe the lawyer has not breached the standard of care and committed legal malpractice.

  • James Wills

    I am a physician. My wife is defense attorney. I can tell you that Ronald V Miller’s statement that “The whole idea of lawyers “sticking together” is both absurd and wrong.” Is not surprisingly absolutely incorrect. It is also extremely offensive for a lawyer to repeat this nonsense.
    Week after week I see corruption, fraud, thievery, and unconscionable abuse of clients by attorneys. Especially, and most horrifically, in family law, where lawyer extortion of clients place children back into the “homes” of the abuser if he or she can be financially bled just a little longer than the non-abuser.
    What kinds of people they are to pretend behind statements of integrity and dignity, that they are not cheating clients and hiding evidence, as they are hired for the sole purpose of sending children back to hell.
    The states’ Rules of Attorney Conduct, and Rules of Attorney Discipline are, as the documents say, “not to be taken stictly.”
    They are covered in statements such as “Lawyers are not to tarnish the respectability of the Profession, and “we must uphold the dignity of Law”, so infuriate us that we rather, by far that lawyers drop the insulting pretext and just come out say that they must not be trusted, with even the facts of the case, by single parents, innocent people fighting the courts, and burdened small business.
    Look, the lawyers know it’s a lie, and the people know it’s a lie.
    Cases go on for years as the opposing attorneys have meetings with each other to agree on who will file which motion so both of their clients will pay as much as the lawyers can continuously bleed from them.
    Motions intentionally misfiled, discovery not done, facts intentionally omitted by the attorneys in order to have yet another hearing to give it another shot.
    One year statue of limitations on legal malpractice (with several exceptions that most people won’t know about) and cases going on for years, and the prejudice that lawyers and judges have agreed to have against people who change lawyers, make it far too dangerous for an abused child, for the client to risk firing a lawyer, or even more dangerous filing a complaint or a lawsuit where their cronies with decades of common thievery and corruption, drop the complaints for a long list of reasons that exist SOLELY to stop the complaints, and then, because a complaint has been filed, the lawyer will release, and fabricate statements by the former clients.
    When a complaint is made, we all know that lawyers fabricate correspondence to each other carefully including statements by, and “facts” about the former clients, and then adding these to their own copies of the files that are not returned to the clients, but are produced in court to remove any possibility of justice, and puts the innocent at real risk of continued judicial blackmail by the attorneys.
    This results in such institutionalized and profession-wide extortion that people have no real recourse from this group of individuals who with just the slightest bit of effort can hide their malpractice, thevery and abuse.
    It is extremely offensive when lawyers say that they do not stick to gether, or that most lawyers are honest.
    Such nonsense by a group that is so powerful and so far from the population that they do not seem to realize how obvious, and how agregious their behavior, and how specious their arguments.
    Besides, if most lawyers were honest, and even some of them tried to fix their near complete power, that there would not be lawyers like Miller who spout nonsense, and do nothing.

  • Ron Miller

    Wow! I would not know where to begin on this one.

  • Bud

    As with the previous poster, I have found that family law is a sewer, and the only thing that surprises me is that my former attorneys’ malpractice lawyer (very prominent in Maryland) is as big a scumbag as my former attorneys. He has knowingly lied in various motions to the courts, and despite the solid evidence of such lies, one particular judge refused to even question him about his ‘misstatements’

  • Scott

    What these posts fail to reveal that like in any profession, there are hacks out there. Doctors, Lawyers, IT people, etc. I believe about 25% of lawyers know the law, as about 25% of doctors know medicine and 25% of IT professionals know IT and etc. I think there are about 50% of these people that coast by on their degree and soak it up. The other 25% are hacks. Unfortunately the hacks are the ones that abuse the system and wind up running the country!

Contact Information