Category: Legal Malpractice Posted on Jul 08, 2015

We Sue Lawyers…but Can Dead Lawyers Be Sued?

Can-Dead-Lawyers-be-SuedWe Sue Lawyers. But what if the lawyer is dead and he stole your money?

If the lawyer is part of a firm there is good news; the firm is probably liable which leaves open the possibility that there will be a place to collect the money.

But what happens when the lawyer practiced on his own? Sorry but the prospects are not good. Most lawyers who steal money from their clients don’t have it all lying around. It has been used to pay bills, pay debts, pay for gambling or drugs.

When you are represented by a firm and one lawyer screws up the other owners may be liable. When you are represented by a firm, the firm may be liable. There are lots of limitations, but there is a chance. Sorry but you may be limited to the assets of the firm. If it is a theft, the usual malpractice insurance will not be available. The firm probably does not have insurance to protect you, the client, from a theft.

So what is a person to do if his or her lawyer stole their money?

Sorry but you have to trust another lawyer if you want to have someone figure out the best path. If the thief is alive he or she will be forced to pull together what assets are available. The thief should expect a longer prison term if he does not cooperate. That is a good motivator.

If the lawyer is dead, the courts will appoint another lawyer or even a team of lawyers and accountants, as is happening right now. Fortunately, in this case, there was some money left behind and the court will split the money between the clients who were screwed by this very bad guy.

There is a lawyer security fund that pays out only a percentage of claims, see http://www.jud.ct.gov/csf/faq.htm for more information and http://www.jud.ct.gov/webforms/forms/gc015.pdf for the form. They simply don’t have enough money to cover all the thefts by lawyers. It is an embarrassment to the vast majority of lawyers who never would and never will violate the trust placed in them.

Our Judicial System does the best it can – there is not always real justice. We Sue Lawyers. We Can Help. Call us.

Bruce Stanger

My litigation experience includes family law, divorce, product liability, construction law, professional negligence, shareholder disputes, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, and general commercial litigation.