Malpractice litigation has a funky new participant. Parliament Funkadelic star George Clinton has sued his former attorneys for allegedly failing to bring a RICO action on his behalf, and billing Mr. Clinton $3.5 million in legal fees. Mr. Clinton’s former attorneys, Hendricks & Lewis, allege the lawsuit is merely retribution for an attempt by the firm to recover unpaid legal fees.
This case is not only funky, it also brings to light an important legal malpractice avoidance tip. If you want to avoid legal malpractice claims, then do not sue your clients. According to one article published by the American Bar Association, “about half” of lawsuits for fees will be met with claims of malpractice. Some legal malpractice insurance policies also include a “fee dispute exclusions,” which leave attorneys bearing the cost and risk of claims, counter-claims, and/or cross-claims of legal malpractice which arise out of fee dispute litigation.