The Business Litigation Blog

Suing Multiple Lawyers for Legal Malpractice at Once can Create Problems

It is not uncommon in the practice of law for a client to be represented by more than one attorney at a firm on a legal matter. For instance, a client might be assigned two litigation lawyers where one attorney acts as the first chair on the client’s case and the second lawyer is second chair. Each assigned lawyer is tasked with providing competent counsel. That is not to say that two lawyers are better than one; both lawyers could make careless mistakes or act negligently regarding the client’s case and prompt a legal malpractice lawsuit.

 

Suing Multiple Lawyers for Legal Malpractice can Create Problems

 

Suing more than one lawyer in a legal malpractice lawsuit is generally permitted, but it can raise unique issues. For instance, a recent legal malpractice lawsuit in the Madison County Circuit Court is dealing with this issue. Christopher Nolan is suing his former lawyers, Amanda Verett and Michael Reid, but has filed a motion to disqualify the legal malpractice defense lawyer simultaneously representing both Verett and Reid because they have asserted conflicting defenses.

 

Underlying Legal Action: Lawyer’s Breach of Contract

 

The underlying case involves botched aspects of Nolan’s divorce from his ex-wife in 2008. Verett obtained ex parte relief in a Madison County Court against Nolan’s ex-wife to stop a medical procedure that his child was scheduled to receive at a Missouri hospital. After the Madison County court handled the matter, Verett then petitioned a St. Louis City Circuit Court to enjoin the son’s medical procedure. Verett did not inform the St. Louis court that the matter had already been handled by the Madison County court. The St. Louis Court granted the injunction, but once it was discovered that the Madison County court had already handled the matter, the Judge had the case dismissed.

 

During all of this, Verett billed Nolan for her time, as did Reid. Nolan also was required to pay court costs in both Madison County and St. Louis. According to Nolan, Verett’s actions were a breach of her contract with him because she charged him nearly $20,000 for services in St. Louis that provided no benefit to him whatsoever.

 

Why Must the Two Attorneys be Represented Separately?

 

Nolan asserts that Verett and Reid cannot be represented by the same lawyer because they have antagonistic defenses. Specifically, Verett does not have legal malpractice insurance while Reid does have legal malpractice insurance. Due to this unequal footing, the two lawyers will likely have a conflict when it comes to allocating responsibility for Nolan’s claims. 

 

Have a Legal Malpractice Claim? We Can Help

 

Whether you are wronged or financially injured by one or more lawyers, if you have been the victim of legal malpractice, you need to consult with a legal malpractice lawyer immediately. If you believe that you have a legal malpractice claim against your former attorney, you can contact the Patterson Law Firm to discuss how we can help you.

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