Thursday, July 14, 2011

West Virginia Adopts Actual Innocence Rule For Criminal Clients Who Sue for Malpractice

Here is the most recent case in a long line of bad cases that hold that a criminal defendant does not have a right to sue his or her attorney for legal malpractice.  In this instance, the West Virginia Supreme Court held that a criminal defendant who, having obtained habeas relief, pled nolo contendere to the criminal charges.  In a dissenting opinion, Justice Ketchum argued that the court's decision is contrary to 148 years of precedent as well as rules of procedure and evidence.  He also argues that the decision "obliterates a criminal plea that served a very useful purpose." You can read the opinion here and the dissent here.

For more recent news on this issue go here and here.

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