The Law Profession Blog reports a New Mexico case which intersects with the collateral estoppel question of legal malpractice and attorney fee arbitrations. Is legal malpractice a compulsory counterclaim to an attorney fee suit?
"The New Mexico Supreme Court held that a legal malpractice action need not be brought as a compulsory counterclaim to an action brought by the law firm assserting a charging lien against the former client. The law firm had agreed to a settlement of the underlying litigation, purportedly without the client’s consent. The trial court found that the law firm had sufficient authority to settle and ordered the settlement enforced over the client’s objection.