Aggressive Advocates For Your Rights

September 2011 Archives

Lawyer-Client Relationships May Be Over Before They Started

In Atkinson v. Haug, it was shown that an attorney's firm can only be held liable under a theory of vicarious liability if the Defendant Attorney was shown to be acting within the scope of his employment or with apparent authority from that firm. The mere fact that the defendant, Daniel M. Haug happened to be a lawyer did not necessarily mean that everything he said was "legal advice." Since there was no evidence that Haug was acting within the scope of his employment at his law firm John T. Acton, P.C ("Acton"), vicarious liability did not exist. 

Mistakes Do Not Equal Malpractice

In Composition Roofers Local v. Bernard N. KATZ, Esq. and Meranze and Katz, the court held that an attorney who advised a Union it could lawfully pay the attorneys' fees to defend its officers charged with criminal activity was not negligent when it turned out his advise was erroneous. This was because there was no clear statement of the law on which the attorney could base his recommendation and such, his advice was not negligent, simply poor advice. 

The Art of Asking For Arbitration

In McKissock v. Polymer and McKissock and Hoffman v. Polymer Dynamics, the court showed that you can't always get what you want, even out of a contract. It stated that since McKissock "did not seek to enforce an arbitration agreement until after several unfavorable rulings were received and nearly twelve months after Polymer instituted the underlying action." This was seen as waiting too long and dilatory. The court shows that once you've availed yourself of the legal process for a prolonged period of time, you can't wait until you're losing to try arbitration. 

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