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Legal Malpractice

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 19, 2001 | From Times Staff Reports
A Tustin lawyer who asked for a second chance to argue an Orange County Superior Court case because his computer and his marriage crashed during the first try has failed to win any sympathy from the state Court of Appeal. The Santa Ana court ruled this week that lawyer Thomas Key did not lose a 1995 civil case because he was beset by personal and professional problems. Instead, the court said, Key intentionally failed to respond to numerous pretrial deadlines as part of his litigation strategy.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 11, 2001 | ANA BEATRIZ CHOLO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge said Thursday he will instruct jurors that a prosecutor of two men accused of killing a West Hills couple in 1998 concealed important evidence during their continuing trial. The four-month trial was abruptly halted earlier this week after Judge Terry A. Green was informed that notes from an interview with a key prosecution witness had been rewritten by a law clerk at the direction of Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael Duarte.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 19, 2000 | MAURA DOLAN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
A Los Angeles public defender whose alleged failure to investigate a crucial lead may have caused an innocent man's conviction can be held responsible for legal malpractice, the California Supreme Court decided Monday. The unanimous decision found that unlike prosecutors, who have wide immunity from lawsuits, deputy public defenders can be sued for negligence by innocent clients who are convicted because of allegedly shoddy legal work.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 2000 | SUE FOX, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Northridge man who posed as a lawyer and negotiated $44,000 worth of liability claims was sentenced to 60 days in jail, City Atty. James K. Hahn said Thursday. Kenneth James Berton, 28, who had worked as a secretary at the Los Angeles law firm of Cox, Castle & Nicholson, pleaded no contest to one count of illegally practicing law without being a member of the California Bar, prosecutors said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 2000
A local man who posed as a lawyer and negotiated $44,000 worth of liability claims was sentenced to 60 days in jail, City Atty. James K. Hahn said Thursday. Kenneth James Berton, 28, who had worked as a secretary at the Los Angeles law firm Cox, Castle & Nicholson, pleaded no contest to one count of practicing law without being a member of the California Bar, prosecutors said.
NEWS
July 15, 2000 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
When George McFarland was accused of robbing and killing a neighborhood grocery owner, he took the advice of an acquaintance and hired longtime criminal lawyer John E. Benn. That may prove to be a fatal mistake. Benn was 72 years old and had not handled a capital murder trial for at least 19 years. Nor did he jump headlong into the new case--he spent four hours preparing for the 1992 trial.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 2000 | MATTHEW EBNET, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An Orange County adoption attorney pleaded guilty Friday to recruiting pregnant Hungarian women to sell their babies to California couples, authorities said. According to U.S. District Court officials, Janice J. Doezie, 49, of Villa Park, admitted to participating in the illegal cash-for-babies scheme, committing visa fraud and persuading "illegal aliens to come to the United States."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 1999 | PETER Y. HONG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Louis R. "Skip" Miller, a politically connected Los Angeles lawyer who often represents the city, violated State Bar rules by speaking to a juror during a high-profile case, a State Bar of California judge has ruled. State Bar prosecutors charged Miller with improperly contacting a juror in a high-profile case involving missing photos of the Robert F. Kennedy assassination, and are seeking a two-year suspension of Miller's license to practice law in California.
NEWS
October 7, 1999 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will take up a case from Georgia on Friday that poses a stark question about the administration of the death penalty: Does the Constitution require a state to provide a lawyer to an indigent death row prisoner who contends, at his first state habeas corpus hearing, that his constitutional rights were violated at trial? In the landmark 1963 decision Gideon vs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 25, 1999 | MEG JAMES and JENNIFER MENA, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
An Orange County adoption attorney accused of being a go-between in an illegal international baby-bartering scheme was released from federal custody Friday pending her arraignment in two weeks. Janice June Doezie, 49, of Villa Park was named in a nine-count federal indictment accusing her of helping recruit pregnant Hungarian women in a scheme to sell their babies to well-to-do California couples.
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