Justia Professional Malpractice & Ethics Opinion Summaries

Barker v. Capotosto

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Plaintiff sued his former criminal defense attorneys for legal malpractice, alleging that they allowed him to plead guilty to a crime that lacked a factual basis. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the attorneys on the basis that Plaintiff could not show he was actually innocent of any offense that formed the basis for the underlying criminal case. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a criminal defendant’s showing of actual innocence is not a prerequisite to bringing a legal malpractice against his or her former criminal defense attorney. Instead, innocence or guilt should be taken into account when determining whether the traditional elements of a legal malpractice claim have been established. Remanded. View "Barker v. Capotosto" on Justia Law