It’s not strictly legal malpractice, but rather use of the term as a metaphor. Federal Magistrate Judge alleges its "almost" legal malpractice when a Federal prosecutor acts to leverage his case.
"Charges against the lead suspect in a major federal drug case should be dismissed because of trial delays caused by prosecutors, a federal magistrate judge has recommended.
The recommendation, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office disputes, would have to be accepted by U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty before the case against George Celestine is dismissed.
Celestine, who could face up to life in prison if convicted, was indicted with three other men in what prosecutors allege was a drug ring they operated for 10 years moving cocaine from Houston to Lafayette.
The men were initially charged in 2001, and the case has stretched on for more than five years and spawned three mistrials.
The most recent was in June, when a judge questioned Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Clemons’ apparent non-compliance with an order to provide defense attorneys with a list of un-indicted coconspirators — people allegedly involved in the drug ring who were going to testify against Celestine.
Doherty had ordered Clemons to hand over a list of the names in 2003 but he did not comply until the morning of the third trial in June, according to the U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Michael Hill’s report and recommendation for dismissal.
Hill wrote that the failure to hand over the names resulted in mistrials that have violated Celestine’s Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial.
Hill characterized Clemons’ actions as falling somewhere between “bad faith” and “legal negligence” and appeared to be an attempt to gain a tactical trial advantage at the expense of not following a court order. "