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My brother settled a wrongful death after my mother past away in a nursing home when i found out call his lawyer

Phoenix, AZ |

three of six kids were not told about this case. until they settled the word then leaked out .i contacted the lawyer that handled the case, telling him there was three other kids. he was in shock. what do i do. what can i do. this happen in arizona this case is the same as the wilmot vs wilmot case

i have contacted some lawyers in arizona one told me he wouldn't take the case because he didn't think the lawyer left the other three of us kids out on purpose. others that i have spoke with tell me that this case is mind blowing and ready to take the case until i tell them who the other lawyer is and then they get quiet quick. i know the lawyer that left us three kids out has a big law firm. but the law is the law these lawyers shouldn't shy away because this lawyer is part of a big firm. what happened to doing the right thing for people that can not do it themselves!!!!

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Attorney answers 6


I am sorry to hear about your loss.

And your reference to Wilmot v. Wilmot is 100% correct.

The Wilmot case holds, among other things, that the lawyer you contacted owed you and the rest of the claimants (technically called "statutory beneficiaries") a fiduciary duty. The case also holds that the person(s) settling the case -- that is, the claimants that approved and accepted the wrongful death settlement money -- owe you and the rest of the claimants an identical duty of care to ensure that your claim is protected and/or that you participate in decision-making and settlement approval.

You are also entitled to your own attorney. That is, you do not need to use the same attorney as your siblings and, quite often, you shouldn't because of potential or actual conflicts of interest (e.g., where you are competing for a portion of limited settlement proceeds).

You need to speak with a lawyer, and soon. You may have lots of different rights and remedies, and time is of the essence.

Again, I am sorry for what you've been through and sympathize that things may have been made worse by learning of a settlement which you were not properly informed of.


Retain a legal malpractice lawyer to go after his insurance policy.

The answer does not create an attorney/client relationship and is for informational purposes only.

Lassen Law Firm
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You are discovering that legal malpractice lawyers are not hanging around like bananas in bunches. In fact, not a lot of lawyers handle these cases. However, if you are persistent, you will find a lawyer willing to take on anybody in the right case. Keep making phone calls. I suggest you try lawyers who handle personal injury and medical malpractice cases if you can't find anybody who concentrates in legal malpractice.

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Now that you have advised the lawyer of the existing other siblings, has the lawyer advised you of the status of the case? Whether a case can still be brought for you and the others that recovered nothing so far? Have time limits expired? Does the settlement leave any provision for future or other claims and claimants? Are there indemnity clauses? There, as you can see, are a lot of questions, and you will need to ask them and many more to ultimately determine your rights.
I agree you should see an independent attorney who specializes in wrongful death and negligence cases immediately. That attorney can explore the issues and advise you as to your options and whether you will need to claim against the siblings that were involved in the claim and/or the lawyer that handled it.
Best of luck to you and your family.


You need to contact one or more lawyers in Arizona. In Arkansas, wrongful death beneficiaries must be notified prior to distribution of the settlement proceeds.

This communication is not intended to, and does not, create an attorney-client relationship.


You need to persist in seeking a lawyer. Eventually, you will find one in AZ willing to take this on.