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Is it true that before you file a Malpractice suit in court that you have to give the Bar a chance to investigate?

Atlanta, GA |

I feel I have a malpractice suit against a lawyer for failing to file a motion for me in open court before the statute of limitation ran out, so I loss my case. I then filed a grievance to the State Bar to give them a chance to rectify the wrong; after the State Bar found no wrong, I then file a motion in open court. I know that there is a 4 year statute of limitation to file a suit in open court but I thought it doesn't start until you exhaust your administrative remedies, ie, to give the Bar a chance to correct the wrong.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Best answer

    Dear Plaintiff,

    As Plaintiff, you are the master of your own suit. If you decide to take legal action by filing a suit against your old attorney for legal malpractice you most certainly can. However, I recommend finding a legal malpractice lawyer to evaluate your case and assist you with it.

    An attorney can tell you the standard of care your old attorney should have met and if you can prove he fell below that standard. A mistake is not enough. His failure must have caused the outcome to be different then if he followed the appropriate standard of care.

    Then there is the issue of damages. They cannot be speculative. Since your attorney missed a SOL you may have a case if he doesn't have an adequate defense/excuse.

    I hope this helps. Good luck.

    -Michael R. Juarez Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216 San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 www.jslaw.org Mike@jslaw.org This posting is provided for “information purposes” only and should not be relied upon as "legal advice." Nothing transmitted from this posting constitutes the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Applicability of the legal principles discussed here may differ substantially in individual situations or in different jurisdictions.


  2. The bar complaint and malpractice claim are unrelated.

    The bar deals with violations of disciplinary rules, not malpractice (although in some cases some conduct may be both). The Bar rarely "corrects" wrongs; it may disbar, suspend or reprimand a lawyer.

    If you have a claim, see a lawyer and make it. Do not wait on the state bar complaint.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at geaatl@msn.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.

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