Scottsdale Wins Another Legal Malpractice Case
Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment on appeal in favor of the defendant in a legal malpractice case. The team effort included work by Scottsdale Manning & Kass Legal Malpractice Team leader Robert B. Zelms and partners Anthony S. Vitagliano and Debora Verdier.
The plaintiff's allegation of professional negligence was based on the defendant's advice that lying to the police would have negative repercussions. Under questioning, the plaintiff confessed to his criminal behavior, without a plea bargain in place, prior to being charged with a crime. Plaintiff, under the direction of new counsel, entered into a plea bargain and is now serving a lengthy prison term.
The legal malpractice claim failed because "such claims arising from criminal proceedings are only viable if the criminal proceedings are ultimately decided in the claimant's favor." (Court Decision, unpublished.)