Andrew Rubin, Esq.

Housewives star blames conviction on former lawyer

The star of reality show The Real Housewives of New Jersey Teresa Giudice has filed a $5 million lawsuit against her former bankruptcy lawyer. The lawsuit was filed on in the Manhattan Supreme Court and claims that the lawyer committed legal malpractice by failing to prepare Teresa to meet with creditors and the federal Bankruptcy Court trustee, mishandled the filing of the bankruptcy and prepared amendments that were inaccurate.

In 2009, claiming that they were in debt for $11 million, Teresa and her husband filed for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy petition was dropped two years later; however, the filing led to charges that the pair had hidden assets. The couple were convicted of fraud and were sentenced to prison. Teresa was sentenced to serve 15 months, and her husband was sentenced to serve 41 months in prison. Teresa is blaming her legal troubles on her former bankruptcy lawyer.

Lawyers have the responsibility to understand the law and apply it properly to their cases. In addition, they are required to know and understand court procedure and deadlines. The failure to adhere to deadlines or to follow and apply the law properly may result in charges of legal malpractice. An attorney may face penalties such as disbarment, restitution to the victims and prison time.

If an individual believes that his or her lawyer has committed legal malpractice, he or she may file a lawsuit against the lawyer. A lawyer with a background in legal malpractice cases may review the case to determine whether a lawsuit is warranted. If the lawyer and plaintiff decide to move forward with a lawsuit, the lawyer may represent the plaintiff's interests throughout negotiations and litigation, if the case proceeds to the trial phase.

Source: CBS News, "Teresa Giudice suing her bankruptcy lawyer for $5 million", December 04, 2014

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