Legal Malpractice in Landlord Tenant Case in Massachusetts – Settlement
Here’s an example of legal malpractice by a lawyer representing a tenant. Our client was a victim of legal malpractice in a landlord-tenant case in Housing Court. Our client and his wife were tenants in a town near the city of Boston, and the landlord sued to evict them in Housing Court. They had rights, however, their own lawyer failed to protect those rights!
Massachusetts Lawyer Did Not Follow Housing Court Rules
Housing Court has rules, and you have to follow those rules. Most lawyers know those rules, and certainly if they practice in Housing Court they should know those rules – or they can learn those rules! After all, lawyers need to know, and follow, the Rules of Court.
In this instance, the negligent lawyer didn’t learn the rules, or knew them and failed to follow them. His clients had valid affirmative defenses and counterclaims against the landlord, which included: the landlord’s failure follow the security deposit law; the landlord’s failure to follow the law with respect to utilities; and other significant laws that landlord’s must abide by. The clients were entitled to exercise their rights and have the Housing Court decide their case, and they expected their lawyer to protect them
Not only did their lawyer fail to file valid counterclaims and affirmative defenses, their lawyer failed to failed to produce documents and answer interrogatories which are required by the rules in Housing Court. When the hearing came, the landlord got a default judgment against the tenants and the tenants lost their rights. Not only did they have to leave the premises in an eviction, they lost all of their valid counterclaims. They were thrown out and they lost their opportunity for collecting damages against a landlord who violated the laws.
Malpractice Case Aggressively Pursued by Burns & Jain
They came to us and, after reviewing their case, looking at their documents and listening to the Housing Court Hearing tapes, we agreed to represent them in a case against their lawyer.
We consulted with an expert in housing law, landlord-tenant law. Attorney Burns’ first trial, an administrative trial in Washington D.C., while still a law student in 1983, was a landlord tenant trial representing a tenant organization. (It was a complete and total victory in which the tenants eventually took ownership of the building!) In this case, we determined exactly what counterclaims should have been interposed and what damages should have been sought.
We drafted a 93A Demand Letter which we reviewed with our clients. The Demand outlined the Rules of Civil Procedure that were violated, reviewed the facts of the underlying case and causes of action against the landlord, and articulated the damages to our clients.
Landlord Tenant Malpractice Results in Settlement for Full Damages
The defendant lawyer retained his own lawyer, paid for by his malpractice insurance company. They agreed that there was malpractice. We negotiated the damages on behalf of our client and the matter was settled for full damages.
Call Burns & Jain for Legal Malpractice Consultation
We have represented victims of malpractice for more than 30 years. If you have been a victim of malpractice for landlord-tenant case, call us. If you’re a tenant that was evicted and your attorney was negligent, call us. If you’re a landlord and your attorney failed to properly represent you, please give us a call.
Roshan Jain and Neil Burns represent victims of legal malpractice every day. They are not afraid to go to court. They are aggressive, effective, and they care about our clients.
Call Burns & Jain for a free consultation. Call (617) 227-7423.