What constitutes a legal malpractice suit? Posted on June 01, 2011
I was persuaded to plea out on the morning the trial was to begin by my attorney telling me I was not pleading guilty to anything and that I was pleading no contest to a simple misdemeanor like jaywalking or having an open can of beer in my car. Plus the convincing argument: he then added that going to trial now would now cost me $18,500- to $23,500 more from the original fee of $2500 and $7500 if it went to trial. To which I gave him the full $7500 up front as he requested. Now at this point the state had made 4 plea offers prior to going to court, all of which I turned down stating I was not pleading guilty to anything nor was I going to take a felony or anything relating to theft nor scheming. Trial was to start and just as the Judge came in he asked that we hear a new plea the state wanted to offer, "no contest to misuse of power of attorney," again I said, "No that I know what a power of attorney was and I had never used it." He told me that I had and this was nothing to concern myself with as it was a simple misdemeanor and a way the state would save face. We argued back and forth for several minutes and that is when the price for my defense skyrocketed and I then agreed, in before the sentencing approached my fingerprint cards to the school boards to whom I volunteered was revoked because I was "arrested and convicted of felony theft a far cry from jaywalking. At this point I tried to withdraw my plea and in hindsight now see if my attorney would have stepped up to the plate and told the court he had given me the wrong advise or would have explained what misuse of power of attorney was I could have avoided 5 years probation on a felony theft charge and thousands of dollars in restitution. In addition, should I have known what the theft charges were (cheating a woman out of rent payments by not paying enough per month) I could prove that I paid over $2oo per month more than the rent factor in the appraisal.
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