Advocate's Journal

Legal Malpractice: Withdrawal from the attorney-client relationship

The South Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed a $270,000 jury verdict today against an attorney for legal malpractice.  In its opinion, the Court of Appeals reminds the bar that “[a]n attorney may not end an attorney-client relationship, and thus relieve himself of the duties arising under it, by unilaterally deciding to allow another attorney to take responsibility for fulfilling those duties. Rather, at a minimum, an attorney must communicate to his client his desire to withdraw from their attorney-client relationship in such a manner that the client understands her attorney will no longer represent her. If the attorney does not take such action, the attorney-client relationship continues.”  Tuten v. Joel, Op. No. 5268 (S.C. App. Aug. 27, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 34).

Legal Malpractice Withdrawal from the attorney-client relationship