Legal Malpractice, a Tort in Search of a Remedy: Prying Open the Courthouse Doors for Legal Malpractice Victims

23 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2016 Last revised: 6 Dec 2016

Date Written: October 1, 2016

Abstract

Black's Law Dictionary defines “tort” as a civil wrong for which a remedy may be obtained. In examining both the economics and jurisprudence related to legal malpractice, the article discusses why the “remedy” portion of this definition is unavailable for many victims of legal malpractice. This discussion considers the different stages of a legal malpractice case, including the challenges that injured persons face in retaining experienced counsel to represent them, the anatomy of the legal malpractice case, and the difficulties in collecting judgements or settlements. The discussion will consider how “capture” and “judicial bias” contribute to the “disappearing legal malpractice trial.” The conclusion proposes initiatives that could contribute to making legal malpractice a meaningful remedy for legal malpractice victims.

Keywords: legal malpractice, torts, dispute resolution, legal profession

JEL Classification: K13, K41

Suggested Citation

Fortney, Susan Saab, Legal Malpractice, a Tort in Search of a Remedy: Prying Open the Courthouse Doors for Legal Malpractice Victims (October 1, 2016). Fordham Law Review, Forthcoming; Texas A&M University School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 16-62. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2856695

Susan Saab Fortney (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University School of Law ( email )

1515 Commerce St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102
United States
817-212-3902 (Phone)

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