Legal Malpractice Defense
Some of California’s most prestigious lawyers and law firms have turned to the Ellis Law Group when faced with potential liability from claims of legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, ethics violations and malicious prosecution. Our experience extends to hundreds of attorney liability cases and has earned us acclaim by the peer-review rankings of Best Lawyers® and Super Lawyers®.
For the seventh consecutive year—in the 2017 edition of Best Lawyers in America—Mark E. Ellis is ranked as one of America's leading professional malpractice defense attorneys. For the sixth consecutive year—2017—U.S. News & World Report ranked Ellis Law Group "first tier" in the field of legal malpractice defense.
For the twelfth year, in 2016, Mr. Ellis was recognized by Super Lawyers as one of Northern California's top civil litigation attorneys. Mr. Ellis' credentials include certification as a specialist in legal malpractice law by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California.
He is the author of the bestselling E-Book, “The Defense of the Attorney Judgment—Tactical Immunity Doctrine,” which is also a chapter in the paperback Best Practices for Defending Professional Liability Claims: Case Studies From Leaders in The Field.
While most of our legal malpractice cases have been settled out of court, we are known as the “go to” firm for clients seeking the best in trial advocacy. The firm has represented lawyers and/or law firms in more than 40 trials, winning virtually every case which reached final decision by verdict or judgment.
Representative Trials & Settlements
- Castenada v. M. — A 12-0 jury verdict in favor of our client following a four-week jury trial in San Jose, California. Our client had been sued for legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract. The plaintiff had sought more than $2 million in damages.
- Sacramento City Unified School District v. G&V — A 12-0 jury verdict exonerated our lawyer clients of all claims by the Sacramento City Unified School District that they failed to identify risks associated with an alternative pension plan they promoted. The plaintiff had sought $4.2 million in damages.
- Bloom v. HBC — After a five week trial, a jury awarded our client law firm all legal fees owed the firm and dismissed all malpractice claims. The firm’s attorney-fee motion as the prevailing party was granted in the amount of $328,976.00 for the fees and costs incurred.
- Rouse v. Law Offices of R.C. — Defense verdict for law firm, its staff and its client after a unanimous jury verdict in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. The plaintiff's pre-verdict demand exceeded $400,000.
- Sutton v. A.H.W. — Multi-million dollar claims against attorney clients settled for less than cost of defense after motions in limine threatened to gut plaintiff’s claims.
For complete lists of representative cases, see the professional profiles of partners Mark Ellis and Theresa LaVoie.
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