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Law Firm Slapped With Malpractice Suit

The law firm of Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP is now facing a legal malpractice lawsuit for failing to obtain “certification of separate shareholder class action litigation” for its clients, who were suing EFT Holdings Inc. for fraud, law360 reports.  The plaintiffs in the suit are claiming $200,500 in damages, the amount the clients paid Edward Wildman to represent them.  The clients, thousands of Chinese and American consumers, had hired Edwards Wildman to represent them against EFT for fraud after EFT had collected millions of dollars in investment money from the consumers and used that money to “manipulate the price of EFT stock and loot the company.”  Apparently when the firm filed for a motion for class certification last October, the U.S. District Court judge refused to grant the certification because the firm failed to file for certification on time (in accordance with local rules).

An attorney committing legal malpractice can cause serious harm to a client.  To have a successful legal malpractice claim, a plaintiff must show three things: that the plaintiff had an attorney-client relationship with his attorney (and that the attorney therefore had a duty to the plaintiff/client), that his attorney acted in a “negligent” way or violated that attorney-client relationship, and that the attorney’s acts were the cause of the plaintiff’s injury.  There are many ways in which an attorney can violate a duty to his client.   In this case, for example, the firm violated its duty to its client by missing crucial deadlines and not following Court rules, thereby causing harm to the plaintiffs’ case.  Other examples include an attorney who acts in a way that is harmful to his client because of a conflict of interest, or an attorney who steals money from his client.

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