Court allows suit claiming lawyer took $25K to file criminal appeals with no chance of success – ABA Journal

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Gavel.

A man convicted of rape can sue his appellate lawyer for allegedly taking $25,000 to file post-conviction petitions that had no chance of success, the Alabama Supreme Court has ruled.

The supreme court said a trial judge should not have dismissed the malpractice case filed by Myron Timothy Yarbrough before resolution of a factual dispute about what his lawyer told him about his appellate prospects, AL.com reports.

The court allowed the suit to proceed against lawyer Steven Eversole and his law firm, Eversole Law. Eversole has maintained that he warned Yarbrough that his post-conviction petition was a “long shot,” but Yarbrough insisted it be filed anyway.

Yarbrough claims Eversole knew his claims were time-barred. He says he paid $10,000 for filing of the post-conviction petition, and another $15,000 to seek to reinstate the petition after its dismissal.

The court said Yarbrough did not have to prove that, but for his lawyer’s improper conduct, the outcome of the appeal would have been different.

Eversole did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. AL.com was unable to reach the lawyer.


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