Can I sue my divorce attorney for malpractice?

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Can I sue my divorce attorney for malpractice?

They did not pursue my spouse perjuring themselves. They did not point out to the judge my spouse committed bankruptcy fraud. They did not point out to the judge my spouse committed identity theft. They did not point out to the judge my spouse committed real estate fraud. They did not point out to the judge my spouse forced the foreclosure of our home forcing us on the street while they went home to family.

Asked on March 21, 2011 under Business Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

While I see your frustration over your divorce proceedings, every side has a story to tell. You hired your attorney to focus on the divorce to zealously advocate for you. If your attorney, after thoroughly reviewing the case and facts and evidence of the above, decided that to pursue those issues would either not help you, not be able to be proved to your benefit or would be unduly costly for you so as to undue what the initial intent of your representation was meant to be, then your lawyer had made a tactical move. Most would not consider this malpractice per se. You would need to show that but for your attorney's malpractice (ineffective representation herein), you would have gotten the bulk of the assets or made out better on the order. California is a community property state and it is a no-fault divorce state. To show perjury would not necessarily impact your asset allocation unless it covered the hiding of assets from you or the court. Committing identity theft and real estate fraud may be criminal enterprises that could also create liability for you and in fact, may make your community assets subject to future lawsuits. Please be careful down this road, you certainly do not want to implicate yourself while trying to point out the criminal violations of your spouse. If you still wish to file a complaint, contact the California Bar and file a complaint through that agency. 


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