Published on:

Washington Holds That Actual Innocence Is Required Before A Criminal Defendant Can Sue His Attorney for Malpractice

I have written several times over the past year about the actual innocence rule, which requires a criminal defendant to prove actual innocence before he can sue his criminal defense lawyer for legal malpractice. Several courts have abandoned the rule in recent years. Washington, however, has decided in the case listed below to uphold the Rule. I don’t agree with the reasoning of the decision. There is no just reason to give the criminal defense lawyers immunity from malpractice lawsuits if they make an error that rises to the level of malpractice.

Professor Bernabe of John Marshall has written an excellent article on this case. You can find the article at this link. http://bernabepr.blogspot.com/2016/07/washington-state-supreme-court-holds.html

Source: PIRIS v. Kitching, 345 P. 3d 13 – Wash: Court of Appeals, 1st Div. 2015 – Google Scholar