Representing Clients in: San Francisco  Los Angeles  Oakland  San Jose  Sacramento  San Diego  415-296-8880

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A client of ours once described our practice as...“the last stop on the justice trail”. The image that phrase conjures up, in a very simple way, is pretty accurate. Stated simply, we’re legal malpractice lawyers handling cases throughout California. We pursue justice for our clients, all of whom have had their cases harmed or lost by the negligence or wrongful conduct of their lawyer or law firm.

Unlike other firms where legal malpractice is only a small part of what they do (usually mostly personal injury law), we practice almost exclusively in the attorney conduct arena. Our attorney conduct practice falls into three main areas: legal malpractice, fee disputes and ethics issues, which are discussed below.

  • Legal Malpractice
  • Fee Disputes
  • Ethical Violations

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What Is Legal Malpractice?

Lawyers make mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable in a profession as complex and difficult as the law. Most of the time, the mistakes can be corrected, or are not too costly. But, there are times when the error or errors seriously damage the client’s case. That is when a mistake becomes a legal malpractice case.

Legal malpractice is just another way of saying a lawyer was negligent in handling a client’s case. Legally speaking, it is when the lawyer’s conduct has fallen below the standard of care of other attorneys in the area handling similar cases.

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Fee Disputes

Law is not just a profession, it’s a business. Like all businesses, lawyers and law firms are interested in making a profit, and more often than we like, the drive for profits can cause billing abuses and overcharging of legal fees. Lawyer billing abuses come in many different forms. It can include padding of hours, charging for work that isn’t done, assigning inexperienced attorneys to projects, performing needless or questionable work, and charging for the time of several attorneys all doing the same thing. It can also mean that the way in which a lawyer handles the case is not in the best interest of the client, but rather to maximize attorney fees.

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Ethical Violations

Lawyers are bound by ethical rules and standards, both written and unwritten. Sometimes lawyers forget that they are in a fiduciary relationship with their clients which requires them to act with the highest level of trust and integrity known in the law. They can act greedily and unethically without regard to their client’s best interest. Often, violations of ethical rules involve a conflict of interest for the lawyer. Conflicts of interest arise in many different kinds of circumstances but lawyer conflicts usually have a basic dilemma: The lawyer’s advice may not be truly independent, because the lawyer is either representing two or more sides in a case or a transaction, or the lawyer’s interest is in competition with the client’s best interest. Violations of ethical rules may give rise to actions against lawyers, separate from billing abuses or malpractice. But not all conflicts give rise to recoverable damages. The client still has to prove that they were damaged as a result of the conflict and the advice the lawyer gave, or didn’t give.

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Client Comments: “Where Do You Go When Lawyers Behave Badly: Bill Gwire”

OK, if you're going to a gunfight, bring Clint Eastwood! The problem with most business litigators is that they almost never litigate - this puts these guys at a big disadvantage at the settlement negotiation table. We engaged Bill right after he was coming off of a big win in what I call the "lawyers behaving badly" space. He took a very close look at our case - I was told he only takes cases with real merit and after working with him, I really believe it!

(Read more from this client and all the client comments here…)

Patent Prosecution Malpractice

Legal malpractice claim against major national law firm (1,000+ lawyers) for failure to properly represent client in a patent infringement case involving semi-conductors. Negligence led to client being forced to settle on disadvantageous terms. We resolved case for mid-seven figure settlement.

(Read more about this featured case here...)