The documents are clear!

I see another major law firm has been sued for legal malpractice by a hedge fund manager and a distressed investment firm who claim that their lawyers didn’t advise them about a particular term in a deal involving tens of millions of dollars, if not more.

Well, the term’s in writing, isn’t it?  And, it’s clear?  And, it’s not unusual in the field? These were sophisticated clients dealing in tens of millions of dollars in the regular course of business and, yet, they are innocent little lambs who didn’t know what they were doing?  Or, they didn’t read the documents?  Or, they didn’t understand them because their “sophistication” was a thin veneer?

Somehow, this case doesn’t seem to have much jury appeal.  Funny how these clients don’t want their lawyers as their partners on the upside, but want to turn them into guarantors or insurers on the downside.

While a CYA e-mail can be off-putting to clients, I tell them “I’m going to send you a confirming e-mail for future reference in case one of us gets hit by a meteor or something” and then give a little chuckle.  Such an e-mail (three, actually) nipped a client’s implicit claim in the bud recently.  “Oh, yeah, now I remember,” the client told me.  Then he stiffed me on part of my bill anyway.

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