Practices

Law Firm Liability & Malpractice Defense

Why Cooley

We advise lawyers and law firms when they face adversarial situations that arise in the course of managing legal practices. We have worked claims and disputes ranging from malpractice to professional misconduct, fraud, insurance matters and criminal investigations.

We have a successful track record in defending law firms and lawyers in such cases. While the desire is to end these matters quickly and quietly, our experience in trying and winning cases positions our clients for favorable outcomes before and after trial.

Two cases, one purpose

Malpractice claims against firms are essentially two cases in one: the liability claim and the causal litigation or transaction. As such, a team with significant experience defending law firms and lawyers and also significant dispute and transactional experience critical to understanding the underlying case is essential.

We work closely with our clients to define the near-term and overarching objectives of the case and to implement a comprehensive plan to address both the substantive issues of the primary claim, as well as understand the underlying intricacies of the causal matter.

Areas of Practice

  • Adverse Verdicts
  • Breach of contract
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Busted deals
  • Ethics violations
  • Insurance coverage
  • Intellectual property
  • Malpractice
  • Negligence
  • Partnership disputes
  • Patent litigation
  • RICO violations
  • Securities fraud
  • Unfair business practices

Representative Matters

  • Federal securities fraud case related to the collapse of Refco against a former senior partner of a Chicago-based international law firm in the Southern District of New York. Cooley advised client at trial, and now is working on the appeal.
  • Successfully defended a major international law firm in a federal securities fraud class action in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Cooley's victory, in the district court and then on appeal in the Third Circuit, involved a precedent-setting application of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Stoneridge Investment Partners v. Scientific-Atlanta.
  • Malpractice, fraud and breach-of-fiduciary-duty action against international law firm in New York state court.
  • SEC-related ethics issue against former partner of a major international law firm in the Southern District of New York.
  • Arbitration action against a Phoenix-based firm alleging professional malpractice in the handling of a matter before Santa Clara County Superior Court in California.
  • We also have advised lawyers and law firms in the following matters:
    • Arbitrations between law firms and disgruntled former partners
    • Ethical issues related to professional conduct
    • State and federal criminal investigations
    • Pre-claim loss mitigation and disclosure steps