NJ High Court Challenges Public Defender Malpractice Claims

Law360, Trenton (January 6, 2020, 6:56 PM EST) -- The New Jersey Supreme Court on Monday questioned why public defenders should not receive the state Tort Claims Act protections afforded to other state employees as the justices challenged a wrongfully convicted man's bid to revive his legal malpractice suit against the state public defender's office and his former lawyer.

Attorney Thomas D. Flinn, now representing Antonio Chapparo Nieves, asked the court to overturn an appellate decision tossing the malpractice claims on the grounds that Nieves failed to meet TCA requirements, claiming signed public defenders owe a duty to their clients, not the state, and thus are not covered by the...

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