Here is a legal malpractice case which ends in an award to the client, as well as a disciplinary finding against the attorney.
“Nearly six months after he drafted a client’s divorce agreement in 2001, attorney Bruce Beck knew he had made a mistake in its wording. He first realized the problem after a hearing in the case during which new financial information was presented by his client.
Beck, of Beck & Eldergill in Manchester, Conn., alerted his malpractice insurance carrier, with whom he carried a $1 million policy, and prepared for a claim from the client, who lost his entire retirement fund to his ex-wife as a result of Beck’s mistake. Beck “intended to assert a comparative negligence defense” against his client, Dr. Jeffrey R. Breiter of Manchester, for lack of care in providing the necessary financial statements.
But according to a conditional admission and disposition agreement approved by Connecticut’s Statewide Grievance Committee, Beck failed to communicate his intent to either Breiter or the attorney to whom he subsequently referred Breiter’s case, John F. Droney of Levy & Droney in Farmington. In addition, Beck failed to inform SGC officials of the existence of the recently disclosed financial material.”
“Breiter, a gastroenterologist, surrendered approximately $500,000 to his ex-wife in the settlement, $66,000 of which came out of his own pocket, “to fulfill the terms as negligently drafted by [Beck],” according to King’s written statement. As a result of a settlement in the legal malpractice claim, Breiter received $434,000 from Beck’s malpractice carrier.”