First Circuit Affirms Firm’s Negligence in Client Advice About Maritime Lien

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has upheld a district court’s finding that a Maine firm specializing in admiralty law breached its duty of care in advising a former client to settle a $267,000 maritime lien without properly considering more recent case law that had been successfully argued by the same attorney presently at issue.

While the First Circuit clarifies maritime lien laws, attorneys in any specialization may take away broader messaging from the court when it comes to everyday client questions to which a lawyer thinks he or she knows the answer, said Lee H. Bals, an attorney with Marcus Clegg, who represented plaintiff ST Engineering Marine in a negligence suit against law firm MacColl of Thompson, MacColl & Bass.

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