Legal Question in Legal Malpractice in Connecticut

Filing a grievance against a lawyer who missed deadline to file my case

What is a greivance, and why should I consider filing one and what good does it do for me or what would it do to the lawyer involved?

Asked on 7/05/02, 11:17 am

2 Answers from Attorneys


Re: Filing a grievance against a lawyer who missed deadline to file my case

filing a grievane involves accusing the attorney of an ethical violation. The bar association has the forms. If the attorney is found to have violated ethics, he may be punished with a suspension, warning or disbarment. If he/she has missed a deadline, that is legal malpractice. You need to see a lawyer to detrmine if you have a case.

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Answered on 7/08/02, 9:26 am
Robert Kaufmann Robert M. Kaufmann Law Offices

Re: Filing a grievance against a lawyer who missed deadline to file my case

A grievance is a complaint to a panel called the "grievance committee." It must involve an allegation of at least one "ethical violation" on the part of an attorney. An ethical violation is the breach of one of the "Rules of Professional Conduct." These are enumerated in the "Connecticut Rules of Court," otherwise known as the "Practice Book."

I do not know whether or not missing a statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is considered a breach of ethics, per se.

The ethics committee only has the power to discipline attorneys for what it considers to be ethical violations. It does not have the power to adjudicate a civil claim against your former attorney for any money damages you can potentially seek for his/her failure to file your lawsuit in a timely manner. If you are only seeking monetary damages, and not "revenge," I do not see any advantage to you to getting your former attorney involved in this. A person may be under the impression that evidence of a sucessful grievance against an attorney whom you then sue for malpractice would be good evidence of his/her negligence. However, I believe that such evidence would be inadmissable under the Code of Evidence. Furthermore, the proper way to prove professional negligence is through the testimony an expert witness as to the standard of care an attorney owes to his/her client. In your case, the standard of care your former attorney certainly owed you was to file your lawsuit before the deadline to do so had expired.

If your goal is to collect the money that you would have been entitled to if your former attorney had filed suit within the time-limit, then you should consult with an attorney who practices in the area of professional negligence,or "malpractice," like myself.

Do not hesitate to call my office for a free consultation if you like.

Good luck.

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Answered on 7/06/02, 9:31 am

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