Results: Legal Malpractice & Attorney Overbilling
Below is a list of some of the cases the firm has handled, not a complete list, and is not a guaranty of future results.
ReadyLink HealthCare v. Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, LLP
The defendant law firm charged its client almost $5 million in legal fees while handling four very sophisticated trade secrets and business cases. None of the four cases went well for the client, despite paying millions of dollars of attorneys' fees. The client hired Klein & Wilson to handle the malpractice case against their former counsel, one of the largest law firms in the United States. After a two month long jury trial, the jury awarded Klein & Wilson's client every penny it requested on its breach of contract and malpractice claims and awarded the defendant law firm nothing on its cross-claims. The case drew significant attention from the California legal community, and the Los Angeles Daily Journal ran a front-page story about this case. Lewis Brisbois Ordered to Pay $6 Million for Overbilling, Mishandling Four Cases.
CD Listening Bar, Inc. v. Doe Major Accounting Firm
Klein & Wilson's client in this matter was one of the largest distributors of compact disc products in the United States. As the result of rapid growth, the client needed to replace its existing accounting software package with a higher end package while remaining in operation. It retained a major accounting firm to do the work. The job was done poorly and Klein & Wilson's client lost millions of dollars. The difficulty in the case was proving the precise amount of damages. The case ultimately settled for $2 million.
Doe City v. Roe City Attorney (Case Confidential)
Klein & Wilson represented a City against its former City Attorney for legal malpractice arising out of the City Attorney's failure to identify and resolve a conflict of interest. The conflict of interest sparked negative media attention, a public audit, and a criminal prosecution. Ultimately, the City was forced to reimburse funds spent on a public project. When Klein & Wilson substituted into the case, the former City Attorney refused to offer a penny to resolve the case. After Klein & Wilson evaluated the case and presented the former City Attorney with facts showing it had substantial exposure at trial, Klein & Wilson was successful in resolving the case for $1.5 million without taking a single deposition.
Doe Law Firm v. Roe Corporation (Case Confidential)
Klein & Wilson represented a client who was sued for approximately $800,000 in unpaid fees by its former law firm and the law firm's expert in the underlying case. Klein & Wilson filed a cross-complaint against the law firm, alleging legal malpractice. Klein & Wilson won approximately 20 different motions and persuaded the court to issue almost $150,000 in sanctions against the law firm for various discovery abuses. Before trial started, Klein & Wilson persuaded the court that the law firm likely committed fraud, resulting in an order entitling Klein & Wilson to conduct discovery regarding the net worth of the firm and its members. After one day of trial, the expert voluntarily dismissed its complaint and received no money. The law firm also dismissed its complaint without receiving a penny, and it paid Klein & Wilson's client $1.3 million to settle the legal malpractice claim.
Does v. Roe Corporation (Case Confidential)
Klein & Wilson represented several clients in a legal malpractice and overbilling case. Before taking a single deposition or conducting any discovery, Klein & Wilson was successful in resolving the case in a manner which netted the clients $795,000.
Does v. Roe Law Firm (Case Confidential)
Klein & Wilson recovered $250,000 in a legal malpractice case where the attorneys did a poor job preparing an underlying personal injury and civil rights case. Despite serious issues of causation, Klein & Wilson convinced the insurance carrier a jury would overlook those issues because of the attorney misconduct.
Doe v. John Roe (Case Confidential)
One of the largest law firms in the United States sought $747,181.79 from its client in a fee dispute. Klein & Wilson cast doubt on the law firm's bills by comparing the work product with the amount of time the attorneys billed. The case settled for $200,000 before the fee arbitration.
Doe v. Roe Law Firm
Klein & Wilson's client hired a law firm to represent her in a divorce case. The attorney did a poor job preparing her case for trial and relied too heavily upon an expert who did not know what she was doing. When the client complained that the expert's report was filled with mathematical mistakes, the lawyer panicked, made an inappropriate contact, and forcefully told the client she had to settle. Klein & Wilson's client decided she could not trust the attorney anymore and was also afraid of him because of the physical aggression. She terminated his services and asked the court for a trial continuance, but the court refused to continue the trial. The trial ended in a predictable disaster. The defense contended the client's wounds were "self-inflicted" and that it was her discharge of the attorney which led to the disastrous trial result. Regrettably, there was more than a hint of truth to that contention. Nevertheless, Klein & Wilson was able to achieve a favorable confidential settlement for its client, allowing her to get back on track with her life and not distracted by further litigation.
Doe Corporation v. Roe Law Firm
Klein & Wilson brought a legal malpractice action against one of the largest and most prominent law firms in California for its mishandling of a "bet-the-company" trade secrets case and its failure to recognize serious conflicts of interest. At the time, Klein & Wilson accepted the case, the law firm was demanding approximately $500,000 from the client. Klein & Wilson settled the case on the eve of trial for $725,000 with the law firm agreeing to write-off its entire bill of almost $500,000.
Kessler v. Horan
In this attorney malpractice action, Klein & Wilson represented an investor who purchased real estate in Newport Beach. The attorney who represented Klein & Wilson's client in the transaction botched the transaction so badly, the client's title to the property was unclear, which resulted in several other lawsuits being filed. The attorney denied all liability and the case went to trial. The attorney was represented by one of Orange County's most experienced trial attorneys. Nevertheless, Klein & Wilson prevailed at trial and recovered all the damages it requested.
Sjostrom v. Pepper Hamilton, LLP
Klein & Wilson's client sold his business and expected to have a covenant not to compete in the sales agreement, which would have prevented the owners of the assets he acquired from competing against him. The client discovered the covenant not to compete, which the lawyers drafted, did not prohibit the former principals of the company from competing. The client, therefore, sued his former counsel, one of the largest law firms in the country. Klein & Wilson worked cooperatively with opposing counsel to resolve this case satisfactorily for all sides, without a large expenditure of legal fees.
Wells Fargo Bank v. Cahill
Descendants of President Ulysses S. Grant filed a malpractice action against their legal advisor and Klein & Wilson's client, a real estate advisor, claiming professional malpractice. Klein & Wilson was able to achieve a settlement for less than 10 percent (10%) of what it would have cost the client to go to trial.