Monday, December 31, 2007

Suing Your Public Defender

In a legal malpractice claim arising out of the client's representation by a public defender, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that the statute of limitations is not affected by the actual innocence of the plaintiff. Further, the statute is not tolled by a collateral attack on the conviction. Rather, the malpractice case must be brought along with the post-conviction claim and may be stayed by the trial court until" the underlying criminal proceedings reach its logical conclusion." A dissent suggests that this approach is unworkable and not in the interests of judicial econony. (Mike Frisch)

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