William F. McMurry Blog
How Do Legal Malpractice Claims Work?
In bringing a claim for legal malpractice (professional liability), you have to show that your attorney was negligent in the handling of your case. There are a few basic components to take into account. First, you have to show that your attorney owed you a duty of care. This is often reflected by your representation or engagement agreement. However, it could also be evidenced through an implied promise such as your attorney verbally agreeing to perform a legal service that was not specified in your legal agreement.
It is not beyond the realm of possibility that your attorney was negligent when representing you in your legal matter. Although attorneys are supposed to adhere to strict ethical standards while protecting the rights of their clients, in reality, some attorneys fall short – way short – in providing effective legal services. This could cause you to permanently lose your case, your money, and even your rights. Notably, a recent legal drama summarized below highlights incidents of potential attorney malpractice where clients alleged that their attorneys’ litigation antics cost them millions. Here’s more on what led to that tragedy and what you can do if you are a victim of legal malpractice.
Time is running out to bring your claim for compensation against the BSA
Survivors of all types of abuse, committed by scout leaders, counselors and fellow scouts have until 5 p.m. Nov. 16, 2020 to file a claim for compensation against the Boy Scouts of America to be eligible for compensation through the organization’s bankruptcy proceedings.
If you are a survivor of abuse you must file your claim before by 5 p.m. November 16, 2020 or you will be barred from filing suit against the national organization in the future.
While COVID-19 requires lawyers to become creative in our effort to move our clients cases along, in keeping with our ethical duty to zealously represent our clients, it is critical to remember that such conversations may not be considered “confidential.” When we speak with a client or a client’s agent, such as a consulting expert, those conversations are considered confidential and protected from disclosure to our adversaries. While Zoom is an excellent tool for conducting group meetings, such as mediations and the like, which do not raise confidentiality or protection issues, using Zoom to conduct client interviews and interviews with consulting experts can be viewed as discoverable. We all know that if we allow a non-client and/or non-client expert to listen in on an otherwise confidential communication, we have violated the attorney client confidentiality and attorney client privilege. Unless you select certain settings in the Zoom settings, all meetings are recorded and stored in the Cloud. Zoom meetings are also publicly accessible with full names and faces are often displayed. Preventing Zoom from making a permanent record or storing it in such a way as to make the meetings publicly accessible is a feature that can be turned on in settings. There are other settings in the Meeting subtab that can also be adjusted, such as disallowing remote control of devices, file transfer, data sharing with Zoom, and screen sharing. Below are suggested setting: Please note that most, if not all, of the settings below are not the Zoom default: Go to: Settings > Recording and click off the Local and Cloud recording features. In the Zoom Settings section, under the Meeting subtab: Require Encryption for Third Party Endpoints Disable Auto saving chats Disable File transfer Disable Feedback to Zoom Disable Screen sharing Disable desktop/screen share for users Disable Remote control In the Zoom Settings section, under the Recording subtab: Disable Local recording Disable Cloud recording Disable Automatic recording I hope this has been helpful to all my colleagues who are enjoying Zoom in the everyday practice of law. William F….
In 2004, I filed – and successfully won, a lawsuit against the Vatican, designed to overcome its arguments that it could not be held accountable for acts by pedophile priests occurring on US. soil. This was done following the litigation and settlement of a case with the Archdiocese of Louisville, KY. Because of our work, the Vatican is not immune from suits by US survivors of priest sexual abuse of children. But the Louisville Courier Journal’s stunning revelation this past week of yet another situation demonstrates that the Church continues to hide and protect its known serial pedophiles over the interests of the children of the Church. Rather than having the interests of the children of the Church at heart, it appears that the children remain at grave risk. The LCJ’s article reveals the Church’s suggestion that there are “no child-victims coming forward to accuse Father Mouser of sexual assault while he was hiding in Motherhouse in Loretto, Kentucky.” This ignores the science behind abuse. Children don’t come forward. It is found that 73% of child victims do not tell anyone about the abuse for at least a year. 45% of victims do not tell anyone for at least 5 years. (Smith et al., 2000; Broman-Fulks et al., 2007) It is not for decades that children have grown to see the impact the abuse has had on their lives that they feel compelled to report the abuse. In the article, I am quoted as saying “After all of the ensuing years since the settlement with the archdiocese, it is heartbreaking that the church leaders continue to demonstrate that they have not lived up to their promises to protect the community’s children from known serial pedophiles.” I have been an advocate for victims of sexual abuse by the Church since the first victim walked through my office in 2002. I will continue to advocate, vindicate and fight for those who have been left behind by the Church. With that said, it is important to realize that the statute of limitations on a civil claim against the Church runs out on the child’s 28th birthday, barring justice…
Extensive experience in representing survivors of sexual abuse is not something an attorney takes lightly. It means that said attorney has gained the trust of sexual abuse survivors who are hurt, who carry often years of baggage, who seek validation and are in need of an advocate. Over the years, I have often been the first person survivors of sexual abuse have opened up to because they have come to me to help them with their many legal questions. Sometimes it starts with the question “do I have a case after all these years.” And that begins our attorney/client relationship. I am honored when a previous client reaches out to me, sometimes years later, to share their personal life experiences and their gratefulness for my guidance. Such is the case with Laura. She came to me for advice. I have been given express permission to share publicly this client’s voice as expressed in her writings. She has done this with the intention to help other survivors. Following is a link to her full letter, titled, Letter to my…
In 2014, William F McMurry was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame. He was recognized as one of thirty-five people nominated that year in recognition for having improved quality of life in the areas of human and civil rights.
Since 2011, the number of claims against lawyers which resolved by the accused lawyer’s paying the aggrieved client in the range of between $1 million and $5 million has increased by 940%.
In 2008 I represented the family of three brothers who were tragically killed in a high speed police chase returning home from a Christmas pageant. The wreck resulted in four young boys losing their lives. While the Louisville Metro PD (LMPD) had recently established a stricter policy regarding the protocol used in high speed police car chases, I was able to show that they did not follow the “new” safer policy and won the case.