Law Firms and Lawyers
Louisiana Attorney Legal Malpractice Defense Law Firm
Keogh Cox is a lawyer’s law firm, with extensive experience defending individual lawyers and law firms against career-threatening claims of negligence and malpractice. The members of our legal malpractice team have years handling these difficult cases throughout Louisiana’s trial and appellate courts, and in disciplinary proceedings. We represent self-insured attorneys as well as lawyers insured by professional liability insurance companies. In either case, our lawyers understand the concerns about reputation management, collaborate with our clients to analyze the claims as well as the underlying case – and craft a response that meets the client’s unique, strategic goals.
Recent experience highlights
Client Story: Supreme Court Win Establishing Mitigation Defense to Legal Malpractice Claims
Where we started: Our client was sued under allegations that his malpractice caused a rejection of a claim worth several million dollars. It was alleged that our client: failed to meet case deadlines, properly conduct discovery or to identify witnesses in preparation for trial. Our roadmap: After conducting necessary discovery, we filed a Motion for Summary Judgment based upon two arguments: 1) the plaintiff/client’s decision not to appeal acted as a bar to the malpractice claim; and 2) the plaintiff lacked evidence to demonstrate a breach in the standard of care. Resolution: In a seminal decision, the Louisiana Supreme Court in MB Industries LLC affirmed the dismissal of our client and established that a legal malpractice clamant forfeits their claim if they fail to take reasonable steps to protect their interests or unreasonably fail to appeal an adverse judgment. MB Industries, LLC v. CNA Ins. Co., 11-0303 (La. 10/25/11), 74 So.3d 1173.
Client Story: Use of “MB” Defense Lead to Dismissal of Substantial Claim
Where we started: In Evanston Insurance Company matter, 19th Judicial District Court, East Baton Rouge Parish, we represented a trial attorney sued by a liability insurer following a substantial adverse judgment in a personal injury suit. Our roadmap: The suit against the attorney was dismissed by summary judgment based on the insurance company’s failure to appeal the adverse judgment before pursuing a professional liability claim against its attorney. Resolution: The dismissal was upheld on appeal in an opinion citing to the MB Industries LLC decision handled by Keogh Cox.
Client Story: Dismissal through Exception of Peremption
Where we started: In the First American Title Insurance Company matter, 30th Judicial District Court, Vernon Parish, we represented a real estate closing attorney sued by a title insurer for a title defect missed in title search. Our roadmap: Through discovery, it was discovered that the lending institution, which retained the closing attorney had constructive knowledge of the title defect. Resolution: The claim was defeated through “peremption” as a result of the constructive notice, which occurred more than one year before suit was filed.
Client Story: Advantageous Settlement in Tough Case and Venue
Where we started: In the Crescent City matter pending in the Civil District Court of New Orleans, we represented an attorney in a breach of fiduciary duty claim with several millions in exposure. Our roadmap: We developed and filed an Exception of Peremption, arguing that the plaintiff “knew or should have known” of the claim more than one year prior to suit. Resolution: The leverage created by this Exception allowed for meaningful negotiation of the claim, which then resolved.
Client Story: Careful Analysis of Nature of Underlying Claim Unraveled the Alleged Harm
Where we started: In the William Trotter matter, 19th Judicial District Court, East Baton Rouge Parish, Keogh Cox represented a lawyer who had represented the plaintiff in a medical malpractice suit dismissed as untimely. Our roadmap: Our attorney developed evidence and argument to show that the plaintiff’s injury arose from custodial rather than medical care, such that the original suit was timely as a general negligence suit. Resolution: The claim was defeated through motion practice.
Client Story: Nonliability Established Through Legal Justification of Alleged Wrongful Acts
Where we started: In the James Wayne matter, Keogh Cox represented an indigent legal services agency sued by its terminated Executive Director for alleged violations of Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law. Our roadmap: The suit was dismissed on summary judgment based on an argument that the law does not apply to non-governmental entities, not even quasi-public corporations. Resolution: The appellate decision upheld the dismissal, and made new law by holding that the Open Meetings Law never applies to corporations. James A. Wayne v. Capital Area Legal Services Corporation,2013-2036 (La. App. 1 Cir. 5/2/14).
Client Story: Dismissal through summary judgment based on showing that attorney had not breached standard of care.
Where we started: In the McCastle matter, we represented an attorney who was sued for negligent representation and failure to properly withdraw from the underlying matter. Our roadmap: We filed a Motion for Summary Judgment based on the absence of legal representation and that the attorney properly withdrew from the case. Resolution: Motion for Summary Judgment was granted and the matter was dismissed.
Client Story: Pre-litigation resolution of legal malpractice claim.
Where we started: In the Delahaye matter, the former client was claiming multiple acts of legal malpractice allegedly committed in the course of community property settlement trial. Our roadmap: Gather the necessary evidence and resolve the case through mediation – and avoid the lawsuit from being filed against the attorney. Resolution: Case was settled at mediation.
More details about Working with Law Firms and Lawyers
We handle legal malpractice claims on behalf of lawyers and law firms in nearly every area of practice and involving all types of claims, including.
- Misuse of client funds or breach of fiduciary duty
- Failure to communicate adequately with a client
- Improper fee agreements
- Overcharging or overbilling
- Malicious prosecution
- Failure to disclose conflicts
- Misrepresentation of qualifications
- Inappropriate relationship with a client
In addition, we represent lawyers in disciplinary proceedings before the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board.