In NJ, as in NY, a criminal defendant may not sue his attorney for legal malpractice absent a showing of "innocence", which in NY generally means a vacatur of the conviction or some post-conviction reversal. Here is another NJ failure.
"Having fully considered these arguments, we affirm the Law Division’s order granting defendants summary judgment, substantially for the reasons set forth in Judge Mary C. Jacobson’s well-reasoned letter opinion dated August 31, 2004, including, but not limited to the judge’s reliance upon Alampi v. Russo, 345 N.J. Super. 360, 368 (App. Div. 2001) (denying recovery in a legal malpractice case arising out of a guilty plea that was not vacated or reversed in the criminal appellate process); see also Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486, 114 S. Ct. 2364, 2372, 129 L. Ed.2d 383, 393-94 (1994).