Why Legal Reform Doesn’t Work

Why Legal Reform Doesn’t Work May 26, 2021 Op-Ed by Janet Phelan “The truth is a terrible thing, but not compared to falsehood.” – Jordan Peterson Legal reform is a banner under which many organizations fly. “Guardianship reform,” “Defund the police,” “End targeting,” “CPS reform” – some of these movements have clear political motivations and some simply seek to address corruption within the system. And none of them have really borne fruit. The reason is not the dedicated efforts of the organizations or individuals carrying these banners. The reason is that the very system through which reform is sought is a facade. Those in the guardianship reform movement are acutely aware that the system isn’t working. There are strong and protective laws on the books but every day, guardianship proceedings convene in courts across the US and laws are ignored, judges make decisions that have no standing in law and as a result, lives are destroyed. Assets are pilfered through these proceedings and in many cases, those under guardianship die under questionable circumstances. The Probate Murders: The War on the Vulnerable through the Courts (Part One) In some circumstances, the… Read More

Attorney Immunity Bars Claims for Fraud and Conversion

A state supreme court recently held that attorneys can assert immunity as a defense to claims such as fraud and conversion if the conduct in question is in furtherance of client representation. ABA Section of Litigation leaders see a trend in multiple states upholding the doctrine of attorney immunity. They caution, however, that there are limits to the doctrine and that it should not be considered a “license to misbehave.” The plaintiff sued the defense attorney for fraud and conversion for mishandling evidence of allegedly faulty brakes Bethel v. Quilling A plaintiff’s husband died in a car accident while towing a trailer. The plaintiff sued the trailer’s manufacturer, alleging that faulty brakes caused the accident. Counsel for the manufacturer disassembled and tested the brakes during the course of discovery, but before plaintiff’s counsel had an opportunity to examine them. The plaintiff then sued the defense attorney (and firm) from the personal injury case for, among other things, fraud and conversion in connection with their handling of the evidence. The trial court in the second case, Bethel v. Quilling, granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss on the basis of attorney immunity…. Read More