Professionals such as lawyers, CPAs, engineers, architects, and surveyors have a duty to act reasonably according the standards of practice in their respective fields. Our firm has handled many multi-million dollar claims against professionals and defended them as well. Very few firms have handled professional liability claims on both sides of the docket. Burdine Wynne lawyers have a unique understanding of how both sides think and will work hard to leverage every aspect of a professional liability claim to the client’s advantage whether a plaintiff or defendant. David Wynne has successfully prosecuted a significant legal malpractice claim against two law firms that spoliated critical evidence and recently recovered a confidential settlement for a private equity firm against a prominent New York law firm that failed to adequately investigate critical underlying legal risks in a business transaction worth over $100 million. The firm has also defended a well-respected law firms against groundless malpractice claims. We are well versed in the most recent state and federal law regarding the proper elements of a malpractice claim or defense.
Not every mistaken tactical decision or legal opinion constitutes negligence, much less breach of fiduciary duty, but if a law firm or lawyer has failed to act in accordance with legal industry rules, customs, and practices, perhaps including the heightened standards applicable to an attorney who is board-certified, a viable claim for legal malpractice may exist. Malpractice claims sometimes result from missing deadlines, failing to properly investigate claims, omitting claims or defenses, mishandling client funds, or failing to adequately communicate with clients. Burdine Wynne has experience handling all aspects of significant, complex legal malpractice claims.
Some of the legal malpractice cases successfully handled by lawyers at the firm include:
- Cause No. 2009-73292; Jorge Gonzalez vs. [Lawyers and law firm]; In the 190th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas Represented Plaintiff on multi-million dollar claims of alleged legal malpractice for Defendants alleged failure to identify and timely pursue products liability claims arising out of an automobile collision involving a vehicle rollover. Confidential settlements reached in part through mediation. Defendants counsel were, respectively, Cruse, Scott, Henderson & Allen, LLP and Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP.
- Cause No. 2010-02015; Lucy Lee Hale and Carey Keene West III, Trustee vs. Merrill Lynch Trust Company ofTexas, ML Life Agency, Inc. and Richard Wuensch; in the 55th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas. Represented Plaintiffs on multi-million dollar claims against the Merrill Lynch defendants arising out of estate planning advice and related trust and insurance structuring and against lawyer and law firm on claims of legal malpractice. Confidential settlement reached in mediation. Merrill Lynch defendants were represented by Hunton & Williams LLP. Lawyer defendants were represented by Henslee Schwartz, LLP.
- Represented a major Houston law firm in eight separate cases brought in the aggregate by several hundred investors in a group of entities that the Houston law firm had represented. The claims exceeded $100 million. The firm successfully moved to consolidate several of the cases administratively and then removed all the cases to federal court where a settlement was achieved without cost to the clients. The firm also represented the law firm in a related declaratory judgment action by which its insurer sought to avoid coverage.
- Widespread barratry violations involving Texas Law Shield, a firearms legal defense firm that solicited prospective clients in person, paying others to solicit prospective clients (including salaries to salesman and kickbacks to CHL instructors).
- Obtained successful settlement through confidential arbitration against prominent New York-based, large law firm regarding its failure to investigate critical legal risks surrounding a private equity transaction involving a renewable energy project in California.
Other professional liability suits the firm has handled include claims against engineers, accountants, financial advisers, land surveyors, and oil and gas operators.