Oregonians may sue their attorneys when the attorney misrepresents facts and the client is hurt by the misrepresentation. Sometimes, it’s plain old fraud. Other times, the attorney never intended to deceive, and the client may have a claim for negligent misrepresentation.
WARNING AND DISCLAIMER: Hire a lawyer. This article is no substitute, and everyone’s situation differs.
What do I have to win a lawsuit against my Oregon attorney for negligent misrepresentation?
1. You must prove you had an attorney-client relationship.
Negligent misrepresentation is reserved for claims against those with whom the person has a special relationship of trust, not the used car dealer or a retail store. Lawyers are among those with a heightened duty of care to their clients. This is the landmark case recognizing the claim.
2. You must prove you the attorney supplied you false information in the attorney-client setting.
Think of “negligent misrepresentation” as “fraud-lite.” The client need not prove the attorney intended to deceive, and the burden of proof is “Preponderance of the Evidence,” just an ever-so-slight tilt of the scales, compared to “clear and convincing evidence.”
The representation must be in the course of the attorney’s business. If the attorney was just chatting with you as a neighbor or as a stranger at a ball game, you cannot sue him or her for being wrong.
3. You must prove the attorney was negligent.
You must show the attorney failed to use reasonable care in providing the information. If, for example, the attorney gave you the best information available, but it was still wrong, probably not a case absent other factors.
4. You must prove that your relied on the information.
You must prove that the attorney misrepresented something important, and you “reasonably” relied on the misrepresentation when you decided to do something or not do something.
5. You must prove that the false representation cost you.
Negligent misrepresentations allows you to sue for money losses, not emotional upset. How did using the bad information cost you?
Finding a lawyer to sue a lawyer.
Every claim has strict time limitations. If a claim is not made on time, it is lost forever.
Merrick Law helps people evaluate claims against lawyers and sue attorneys when they won’t settle a meritorious claim. Feel free to contact us using the message form.
Jeff Merrick, Oregon Litigation Attorney
©2018 by Merrick Law, LLC and Jeff Merrick. The above is not intended as legal advice. It is for general information purposes only. Reading it or attempting to contact me does not mean I am your attorney. I only represent people after we sign a written contract.