Bill Stevenson has been a member of the state bar association for almost 15 years. During that time he gained the reputation of being a very good trial attorney, specializing in medical malpractice cases. In the last few years, however, things had been difficult for Mr. Stevenson. He had lost a son in the war and he divorced his wife of almost 20 years. While he threw himself into his work, his staff noticed that he was not as sharp as usually and was not paying close attention to his cases. They also noticed that he was having a drink or two at the local pub and left early each day so that he could make it to “happy hour.” This was uncharacteristic of Stevenson. His staff, many of whom worked with him for years, worked hard to cover up his mistakes.
One mistake, however, resulted in a client suing him for malpractice. Jill Johnson had been injured in an operation performed at the local hospital. She retained Stevenson to handle her lawsuit against the hospital and the surgeon that performed the operation. Stevenson was retained 5 years ago, about the time he lost his son. He finally got around to filing the lawsuit, but it was thrown out because it was filed after the statute of limitations had run out.
Assume you worked at Stevenson’s law office as a legal assistant during the time leading up to Johnson’s decision to file suit for malpractice.
Identify the ethical issues presented in the facts. Next, identify what you should have done if you knew of the problems, rather than working hard to cover up his mistakes.
Post 2 and 3
Select at least two comments from other students and make a detailed response to their posts.
You should include at least one citation to support each of your posts.
NOTE – Pasting of long articles or quotes from cases will not get you the most points. I want to see you summarize and express yourself in your own words.