John M. Drath, Esq.

Mediator  •  Arbitrator

​Legal Malpractice


  • Pre-litigation matter. Law Firm represented an LLC in proceedings to collect money from a former bookkeeper who embezzled over $800,000 from the LLC. The bookkeeper also embezzled from another employer. The law firm obtained a TPO to prevent the bookkeeper from transferring her assetts but the court failed to require a bond, despite that being a mandatory requirement under the statute. The law firm never brought that to the attention of the court. The other embezzlement victim entered into a settlement with the embezzler and obtained a deed of trust on her home to secure the settlement. The embezzler then filed for bankruptcy and because there was no bond, the LLC's claim was listed as unsecured. What followed was protracted litigation with several adversary proceedings. The LLC secured bankruptcy counsel, and ultimately prevailed over the other victim. However, the amount collected exceeded the amount paid in legal fees and the law firm sought payment of additional fees. The LLC contended that the bulk of the fees were expended because the law firm failed to get a bond posted for the TPO. The LLC wanted the firm to disgorge a portion of its fees, and the Firm wanted the LLC to pay the outstanding balance owed.

  • Plaintiff contended defendant firm committed malpractice in national class action litigation, and failed to reveal conflicts of interest. Defendant denied wrongdoing and sought payment of balance owed.

  • Lawyer #1 committed malpractice by representing two parties with conflicting interests without providing a written disclosure as required by the rules of professional conduct. Lawyer #2 sued lawyer #1 but he missed the statute of limitations. Lawyer #3 then sued lawyer #2 for missing the deadline for suing lawyer #1. A negotiated settlement fell through because a defendant attorney refused to dismiss a separate action for unpaid fees in unrelated litigation.

  • Law firm sued client for fees owed, client cross-complained for legal malpractice based on poor result in litigation. Law firm represented itself in a contentious and protracted mediation, resulting in settlement.

  • Pre-litigation claim was made against attorney whose client lost a business dispute and was assessed punitive damages. An appeal was filed, and the mediation resolved both the legal malpractice claim and the underlying appeal.

  • Attorney sued after failing to file a timely wrongful termination suit.

  • Attorney, after successfully defending his client in an intellectual property case, recommended bringing a malicious prosecution action against both the plaintiff and its attorney. The attorney/defendant filed an anti-SLAPP motion and was awarded significant attorney’s fees. Client then made a legal malpractice claim against his attorney for the erroneous advice to bring a malicious prosecution action.

  • Attorney sued by judgment debtor for abuse of process and conversion for seizing and liquidating debtor’s assets without following the requirements of the EJL.