[Minnesota Litigator takes a detour off its normal Minnesota route to a decision under Arkansas law in light of a recent Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision on an Arkansas legal malpractice case.]
Imagine that your lawyer represents you defending against a hard-fought 7-figure lawsuit, loses at trial (a $6 million verdict), and then forgets to file your appeal on time. To many, this might seem like a slam dunk of a attorney malpractice claim.
But what if your grounds for appeal were weak anyhow?
Even where a lawyer seems to have committed a fundamental error that seems to have foreclosed any realistic chance of reversing a multi-million dollar verdict, you might have no recourse against him.
Such was the fate of Swift Transportation.
We will never know why the deadline was missed. We will never really know what the outcome of an appeal, if it had been taken, would have been.
What we do know is this: lawyers (just like humans) make mistakes all the time but forging the robust links of causation from lawyers’ mess-ups to their clients’ harms is extremely difficult. Even where a lawyer’s lapse may be obvious to all.
For most legal disputes, you need one good lawyer and you should get the best you can find. Seth Leventhal has successfully represented businesses and individuals in Minnesota state and federal courts since 1996, including but not limited to claims against lawyers for professional malpractice. If you believe you might have a claim, contact LEVENTHAL pllc at 612-234-7349 for a free consultation.