News

Proposed Rule 1.4.1 - Communication of Settlement Offers. On September 8, 2017, the Daily Journal published Communication of Settlement Offers by Shareholder Jason E. Fellner and Law Clerk Tarah Powell-Chen. The article explores Proposed Rule 1.4.1. which narrows the types of settlement offers that a lawyer is required to promptly communicate to clients in a criminal matter and maintains the mandatory communication of all written settlement offers to the client in civil matters.


The San Francisco office of Murphy Pearson Bradley & Feeney would like to welcome Suzie Tagliere and Eddie Beeby. Suzie and Eddie are both associates who will mostly work with Shareholder Janet Everson and her team. Their primary practice areas will be professional liability and tax. Welcome Eddie & Suzie!


Tolling Legal Malpractice Statute of Limitations - The Uncertainty of "Continuous Representation". The Bar Association of San Francisco will host a panel discussion on October 12, 2017 from 12:00 - 1:15 p.m. An hour of MCLE Credits in Legal Ethics and lunch will be provided. The Legal Malpractice statute of limitations, C.C.P. section 340.6 protects attorneys from stale claims. However, by its terms, it is tolled by an attorney's "continuous representation" of the client. What constitutes continuous representation is not clear cut. This program will discuss the ways attorneys can maintain positive client relations, yet protect themselves from claims of never-ending representation. Jennifer Becker of Long & Levit will moderate a panel consisting of Mark Abelson of Campagnoli, Abelson & Campagnoli and Jason Fellner of Murphy Pearson Bradley & Feeney. Click here for more information or to register for the event.


The Bar Association of San Francisco

A Powerful Tool: Section 998 Offer to Compromise. Join Jonathan Blute of MPB&F, Conor Kelly, and Valerie McGinty with Mediator Sara Peters at the Bar Association of San Francisco on Thursday, September 21, 2017 from 12:00 - 1:15 p.m. Lunch will be provided as well as MCLE credit. The topic includes: How to use a § 998 offer to turn a loss into a win, and vice versa; Making effective offers in multi-party litigation; Effect of multiple offers; Evaluating the effect of "mixed results" at trial; and Building valid offers that hold up during post-trial motions. For more information and to register for the event, visit here.


Bill Muñoz, Managing Partner, and Heather Barnes, Associate, in MPB&F's Sacramento office were both named in Sacramento Magazine's 2017 Top Lawyers List. Bill was one of nine attorneys recognized under the Insurance category and Heather was one of six attorneys recognized under Professional Malpractice. Congratulations to Bill and Heather and all of the Top Lawyers recognized in Sacramento Magazine's August 2017 Top Lawyers List.
William A. Muñoz Heather A. Barnes


Keeping Pace With the Evolving California Case Law: How to Distinguish Between Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims and Legal Malpractice Claims Against Attorneys. On August 23, 2017, ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct published the above-named article by Associate Anjali Kulkarni and Shareholder Jason E. Fellner. The article explores key differences between breach of fiduciary duty claims and legal malpractice claims and further discusses how practitioners should learn from the Broadway Victoria case (Broadway Victoria, LLC v. Norminton, Wiita, & Fuster, 217 Cal. Rptr. 3d 414) when litigating malpractice claims. Read the article here.


The Hartford insurance company became a founding sponsor of the U.S. Paralympic Movement in 1994. It takes tremendous training, dedication and financial backing to become a world-class athlete. The Hartford will host its' Fourth Annual Celebration of Heroes Auction and Raffle event on September 26, 2017. For more information on the event and donating to the U.S. Paralympic team, please visit https://www.thehartford.com/about-us/paralympics. Murphy Pearson Bradley & Feeney is a proud sponsor of this event.


On August 10, 2017, the First District of the California Court of Appeal affirmed summary judgment in favor of MPBF client Silvestri, Silvestri & Mialocq in the matter of Lico v. Prioste, et al. Plaintiff and appellant Beth Ann Lico had filed a legal malpractice complaint in San Mateo County Superior Court alleging that her former divorce attorneys, the Silvestri firm and its predecessor, Tanya Prioste of Lakins & Spears, failed to advise Lico to sue her former estate planning attorneys for negligent preparation of a transmutation agreement within the applicable statute of limitations. Shareholder Timothy Halloran and Director Jonathan Blute successfully moved for summary judgment in the trial court on statute of limitations grounds, arguing Lico failed to file her instant complaint within one-year of suffering "actual injury" due to her former divorce attorneys' alleged omissions. Mr. Halloran and Mr. Blute also represented the Silvestri firm on appeal. The full opinion is available here.


On August 15, 2017, Law360 published Clear Termination of Attorney-Client Relationship is Key by Shareholder Jason E. Fellner and Associate Geoffrey Macbride. The article explores the ruling on Flake v. Neumiller & Berdslee (2017) 9 Cal.App.5th 223 and the importance of ensuring an attorney-client relationship is complete in order to commence the one-year statute of limitations for legal malpractice claims.


Heather Barnes, Associate in MPB&F's Sacramento office, has been accepted on the Membership Chair of DRI's Professional Liability Committee. The goal of the PL Committee is to build upon their traditional strengths and to significantly increase their programming efforts within DRI. For more information about the committee or DRI, visit here.


Jason E. Fellner On June 27, 2017, Shareholder Jason E. Fellner was designated as a Board Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. The Diplomate designation is about competence, character and commitment; three terms that define professionalism and exemplify the high standards the ABPLA sets for all of its Diplomates. It is the ABPLA's continuing mission to certify attorneys according to the highest standards of experience, ethics, education, examination and excellence. Through this rigorous process, the ABPLA offers consumers a clear standard of excellence for selecting medical and legal malpractice attorneys in whom they can have confidence.


Angela Rho will be speaking on Resolving Sexual Harassment Claims at the Association of Legal Administrator's local Human Resources Section meeting on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at Hanson Bridgett. The prevention of sexual harassment claims is widely discussed by employment law professionals, but what do you do when a complaint is made or a claim is filed? Angela will discuss the steps to a proper investigation that protects your company and your employees, and how best to communicate the results of your investigation to all interested parties. For more information or to register (fee for non-members) visit here.


Following a two week jury trial, Shareholders James Murphy and Harlan Watkins, and Associate Geoffrey Macbride obtained a complete defense verdict in favor of their attorney and law firm clients. Despite plaintiff's alleged damages of over $30 million, the jury, which deliberated for only a day, determined that defendants representation always met the standard of care and were not liable for any wrongdoing. The case was previously tried in September 2013 and the court granted a non-suit after excluding unauthenticated hearsay evidence. The non-suit was reversed on appeal. During the pendency of the second trial, the Supreme Court issued its decision in People v. Sanchez setting forth limitations on what experts could rely on in formulating opinions.

James A. Murphy Harlan Watkins Geoffrey T. Macbride

Practicing in both California and Washington states? Managing Partner of our Seattle office, Nicholas Larson, authored an article for the King County Bar Association Bulletin which compares important aspects of professional liability standards between both states. Read Malpractice Damages - CA v. WA: Comparing Important Aspects of Professional Liability Standards here.


Super Lawyers
Nineteen of MPB&F's Attorneys Were Recognized as a Northern California Rising Star or Super Lawyer. We are pleased to announce that fifteen of our attorneys were recognized as "Northern California Super Lawyers 2017."



Additionally, Four of our attorneys were "Northern California Rising Stars 2017":



Additionally, Founding Shareholder John H. Feeney made the Top 100: 2017 Northern California Super Lawyer List.


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