The elements of a cause of action for legal malpractice

Law Lessons from Stahl v. Stahl and DeLaurentis P.C., App. Div., Nos. A-3978-13T1, A-4209-13T1, March 17, 2016:

“The elements of a cause of action for legal malpractice are (1) the existence of an attorney-client relationship creating a duty of care by the defendant attorney, (2) the breach of that duty by the defendant, and (3) proximate causation of the damages claimed by the plaintiff.” McGrogan v. Till, 167 N.J. 414, 425 (2001) (citing Conklin v. Hannoch Weisman, 145 N.J. 395, 416 (1996)).

Legal “representation is inherently an aware, consensual relationship,” which “is founded upon the lawyer affirmatively accepting a professional responsibility,” and such acceptance “need not necessarily be articulated.” In re Palmieri, 76 N.J. 51, 58 (1978).

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