Illinois Legal Malpractice Questions & Answers

Q: I'm on the run trying to better my life and provide for my family. I need help asap please.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on Feb 5, 2019
Juan Ooink's answer
No clue what your question is. If you are looking for an attorney to assist you, you need to reach out to them. Please use the Find A Lawyer tab on this site.

Q: My divorce lawyer died and I missed some deadlines while waiting to be transferred to a new attorney at the firm. Is

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on Dec 27, 2018
James G. Ahlberg's answer
There's not enough information here to give a solid answer to your question. I suggest making an appointment with a lawyer to discuss the matter. To express it as simply as possible, there are at least three elements needed to pursue such a claim: (1)a duty owed to the client, (2)a breach of that duty, and (3)the existence of damages resulting from the breach of the duty. If you have a problem with your claim (and I don't know whether you do) it is likely to arise under the second or third of...

Q: A disgruntled ex-client is posting untruthful reviews about me suggesting legal malpractice. What should I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on Dec 7, 2018
James G. Ahlberg's answer
This is an ethical and relational minefield. Any substantive or defensive response is likely to inflame the situation and harden his attitude, as it effectively encourages him to throw another log on the fire. Think of it this way -- the fire that's tended burns the hottest, and you want this fire to go out.

I suggest responding along these lines: "I regret that (ex-client) found our attorney-client relationship unsatisfactory. This will be the only response I make to his criticism...

Q: I think my lawyer is bipolar and stopped taking his meds.

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on Nov 16, 2018
James G. Ahlberg's answer
Your best bet is to hire a different lawyer to take over the case immediately. You don't mention that your present lawyer's conduct has caused any damage to you, so at this point you have nothing to gain by suing him for malpractice.

Q: Does legal malpractice have a statute of limitations?

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on Oct 25, 2018
James G. Ahlberg's answer
Yes. As a general rule it is two years from the time the person bringing the lawsuit knew, or reasonably should have known, of the malpractice. (It can be quite a bit more complex than the simple statement in the first sentence. Some cases involve a statute of repose which can bar the right to bring a case if the client doesn't discover the malpractice until six years from the last act of legal representation the attorney performs on the matter.) Your best bet is to meet with an attorney and...

Q: My attorney coerced me into signing a low settlement. Can I sue him for damages?

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on Sep 17, 2018
James G. Ahlberg's answer
Coercion means the equivalent of putting a gun to your head, so probably not. If he or she tried to get you to sign for a low settlement, you could have looked at the lawyer and said, "If you can't get me more than that, you're fired," then looked for another lawyer. Also, bear in mind that i's human nature for everyone to think their particular case is worth a lot of money. Sometimes the hardest part of a case is getting a client to understand that their idea of the value of their case...

Q: My attorney wants to write an article about my case. Do I have to allow that?

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on Aug 22, 2018
James G. Ahlberg's answer
Generally speaking, not, you don't have to. The Illinois Supreme Court has established Rules of Professional Conduct to govern the actions of lawyers. Rule of Professional Conduct 1.8(d) provides as follows: "(d) Prior to the conclusion of representation of a client, a lawyer shall not make or negotiate an agreement giving the lawyer literary or media rights to a portrayal or account based in substantial part on information relating to the representation."

The commentary on Rule 1.8(d)...

Q: I was looking for a lawyer and the person said she wouldn't

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on Aug 3, 2018
James G. Ahlberg's answer
Yes. I suppose it depends on what she wanted you to sign, but in general if you want to talk to someone (a lawyer or otherwise) they're entitled to set conditions on their willingness to do so.

Q: What would be the right way to go about filing an appeal in a mental health case where I have not been served?

1 Answer | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Health Care Law, Legal Malpractice and Probate for Illinois on
Answered on Aug 1, 2018
James G. Ahlberg's answer
The stakes are for too high for you to act as your own lawyer in this case. I admire your spirit, but the time has come for you to hire a lawyer. Bring him or her the research you've done, but by all means hire a lawyer. Don't risk your freedom (financial and otherwise) by trying to do it yourself. Hire a lawyer. Do it immediately.

Q: brother was pulled over; and I was the passenger; the cops asked for my i.d/refused. Cop ran my name. Is this legal.

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on Jul 16, 2018
James G. Ahlberg's answer
Yes, it's legal. Can you sue? Sue for what? A lawsuit involves a claim for damages. How were you damaged? And no, your civil rights were not infringed upon by the officer merely determining who you are. The officer has a right to know whether the passenger in a car is a violent felon who poses a threat to the officer's safety, for example, or if there's a warrant out for your arrest.

Q: Is there a set time a lawyer has to get me my settlement check? I believe it came to him a couple of weeks ago.

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on May 16, 2018
James G. Ahlberg's answer
There is no official deadline, but as a general rule lawyers try to do this as quickly as possible. After all, the lawyer doesn't get paid until you do. It's possible the check had to be deposited in the lawyer's trust account and he or she is waiting until it clears the issuer's bank before paying the money out of the trust account. If in doubt, call the lawyer's office and ask when you can expect your check.

Q: I severed my relationship with my attorney, but now I just got a bill for stuff she did before I left her

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on Apr 27, 2018
James G. Ahlberg's answer
Yes. If the lawyer did the work, the lawyer is entitled to be paid for what she did (assuming it is properly billed). Think of it this way: If you go to the store and only make it halfway through your grocery list before deciding to leave, you still have to pay for the groceries in your cart when take them and go. The grocery store sells groceries, a lawyer sells his or her time and advice.

Q: Who do I talk to about unreasonable fees - my lawyer is blowing me off.

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on Apr 6, 2018
James G. Ahlberg's answer
A lawyer should be willing to discuss his or her fees with you. If the matter being handled is still proceeding, you may wish to tell him or her (in writing) that you need to meet and discuss the fees within 21 days or you'll find a new lawyer to finish the matter. If the matter is done, you may wish to tell him or her (in writing) that you won't pay anything toward the fees until he or she meets with you to discuss them. Keep records of each attempt to contact the lawyer about the fees and...

Q: Hi I live in Chicago IL can the police legally impound my tow truck for solicitation??

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents and Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on Mar 13, 2018
Peter Munsing's answer
Likely they can,but that's serious and can bar you from getting proper License so time to get a consult from an attorney asap so you can get your vehicle back.

Q: What do you do if you feel your attorney is screwing you around?

1 Answer | Asked in Workers' Compensation and Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on Feb 1, 2018
Charles Candiano's answer
You need to understand the strategy. Your attorney could have simply had the contracts approved in January. It was prudent to file the Motion to Reinstate because that MUST be done within 60 days to resurrect the case. The fact that he filed the Motion to Reinstate, DOES NOT PREVENT HIM FROM GETTING THE CONTRACTS APPROVED. The Motion to Reinstate could have been set for Hearing in whatever location the Arbitrator was sitting in February. Downstate Arbitrators do rotate through 3 venues so...

Q: I just found out that my attorney only passed the bar exam in New York, but he's working on my case in Illinois.

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on Jan 12, 2018
James G. Ahlberg's answer
It depends. Normally an attorney licensed in a state can only practice in that state. It is possible to get permission from a court in a second state to handle a particular case which is before that court, however. This permission will appear as a motion asking permission and an order granting permission which will appear in the court record for the case. The motion and order typically reference being able to practice "pro hoc vice," a Latin phrase meaning "for this occasion" or "for this...

Q: During the last meeting with my lawyer, I smelled alcohol on his breath.

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on Dec 10, 2017
James G. Ahlberg's answer
If you trust your lawyer, consider staying with him. On the other hand, if this has shaken your confidence in the lawyer, consider switching lawyers. If you believe he was intoxicated you may wish to consider contacting the Lawyers Assistance Program at (312) 726-6607. They are trained to assist lawyers who suffer from alcohol or drug problems. I believe it's possible to do this in such a way that they lawyer will not learn who contacted them.

Q: an attorney in a MSA negotiation fails to notify the client of a last minute change in the document.

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on Dec 2, 2017
James G. Ahlberg's answer
Tough question. While it is true you should have read the document before signing it, many legal documents and the issues they address are so complex that they induce MEGO ("My Eyes Glazed Over") and significant things can be missed. When in doubt, ask your attorney, "Have any changes been made since I last read this document?" If the answer is yes, ask for a red-lined copy which specifically marks all additions or deletions from a prior version of the same document.

If the attorney...

Q: What should I do if I'm near trial and I feel that my attorney mishandled my case?

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on Dec 2, 2017
James G. Ahlberg's answer
Don't assume your relatively inexperienced attorney is no match for the opponent with 30-plus years. The opposing attorney may underestimate the capabilities of your attorney, if nothing else.

Without details as to why your documents were turned in late, it is difficult to determine whether the lawyer was at fault.

Whether malpractice exists if summary judgment was entered against you on three of your charges depends on why the order(s) for summary judgment issued. At times a...

Q: If my attorney discovered that another attorney knowingly filed fraudulent documents to a county recorder for my sister,

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Answered on Aug 20, 2017
Ray Choudhry's answer
He is required to report known unethical conduct.

Sometimes people jump to conclusions.

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