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Illinois Legal Malpractice Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Q: Im still married and just found out my husband sold our home and forged my signature with a notary present. What to do?
Ray Choudhry
Ray Choudhry answered on Apr 25, 2019

forging a signature is a criminal offense.

see the police

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Q: I'm on the run trying to better my life and provide for my family. I need help asap please.
Juan Ooink
Juan Ooink answered on Feb 5, 2019

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.

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1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Q: My divorce lawyer died and I missed some deadlines while waiting to be transferred to a new attorney at the firm. Is

this considered legal malpractice?

James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on Dec 27, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Q: A disgruntled ex-client is posting untruthful reviews about me suggesting legal malpractice. What should I do?
James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on Dec 7, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Q: I think my lawyer is bipolar and stopped taking his meds.

I can't reach him, and my family court date is approaching quickly. Can I sue for legal malpractice?

James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on Nov 16, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Q: Does legal malpractice have a statute of limitations?
James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on Oct 25, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Q: My attorney coerced me into signing a low settlement. Can I sue him for damages?
James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on Sep 17, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Q: My attorney wants to write an article about my case. Do I have to allow that?
James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on Aug 22, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Q: I was looking for a lawyer and the person said she wouldn't

even talk to me without me signing something - can she do that?

James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on Aug 3, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Health Care Law, Legal Malpractice and Probate for Illinois on
Q: What would be the right way to go about filing an appeal in a mental health case where I have not been served?

I have a dispute with my family, they gained access to money under my name and then had me mentally committed where now they are smearing my name in court proceedings to the point where a judge is providing a waiver of service for me to attend these proceedings. According to the multitude of laws... Read more »

James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on Aug 1, 2018

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.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
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.

He ran my brothers name, and then came back, and said my name. Then left.

It was all for a headlight, violation.

Can I sue?

James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on Jul 16, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
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.
James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on May 16, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Q: I severed my relationship with my attorney, but now I just got a bill for stuff she did before I left her

- can she do that?

James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on Apr 27, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Q: Who do I talk to about unreasonable fees - my lawyer is blowing me off.
James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on Apr 6, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents and Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Q: Hi I live in Chicago IL can the police legally impound my tow truck for solicitation??
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Mar 13, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Workers' Compensation and Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Q: What do you do if you feel your attorney is screwing you around?

My attorney, myself, and employers attorney signed settlement contract. Although I signed November 21, 2017 it was then sent to employer attorney who sat on it until December 26, 2017. The case was dismissed November 13, 2017 so my attorney filed to reinstate it just to be on the safe side. A new... Read more »

Charles Candiano
Charles Candiano answered on Feb 1, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
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.

Is that legal malpractice?

James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on Jan 12, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Q: During the last meeting with my lawyer, I smelled alcohol on his breath.

What should I do if I think he may be intoxicated while at work?

James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on Dec 10, 2017

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Q: an attorney in a MSA negotiation fails to notify the client of a last minute change in the document.

The client then unwittingly signs the document with dire consequences.The attorney defense is that the client (a well educated person) should have noticed the (subtle) change in text. The judge agrees that it is the client's responsibility to have thoroughly read the document before signing. Is... Read more »

James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on Dec 2, 2017

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Illinois on
Q: What should I do if I'm near trial and I feel that my attorney mishandled my case?

I found out approximately 4 months prior to trial that my attorney have been disbarred for felonies. I was left with a junior attorney to fight against an attorney with 30-plus years and defending corporations. The state idhr found guilty on two of my charges one sexual harassment the other racial... Read more »

James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg answered on Dec 2, 2017

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...
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