It looks like a legal malpractice action against Spector Gadon & Rosen and one of its attorneys may go back for a second round of litigation. The underlying action was an arbitration brought by Spector Gadon’s client that was dismissed for lack of prosecution. Spector Gadon & Rosen won the legal malpractice action in front of a jury which found no negligence. However, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark I. Bernstein granted the plaintiff’s motion for a new trial, ruling that in light of the evidence there was no way the jury could have found the firm and the attorney not negligent in not timely prosecuting their client’s case. Judge Bernstein did add that he had serious doubts about the ability of the plaintiff to establish the existence of any damages.
The legal malpractice avoidance lesson with this case is clear. Even for the big boys, it is necessary to stay on top of your cases. Remember that lawyers are more likely to get in trouble because they are not paying attention to a file than because they do not understand what they are doing. Any file you have where you have said to yourself “I have to do . . .” three times or more is a file you should be urgently looking at. The best professional liability defense is not to let your cases get away from you in the first place.