Attorney's Failure to Advise the Risks In Rejecting a Settlement Offer

The importance of settlement to clients and to society mandates that we recognize that an attorney has a duty to utilize ordinary skill and knowledge in advising the client. See Rizzo v. Haines, 520 Pa. 484, 555 A.2d 58, 64 (Pa. 1989); see also Thomas v. Bethea, 351 Md. 513, 718 A.2d 1187, 1194 (Md. 1988)("The principle that a lawyer may be held liable for negligence in handling of a case that was ultimately settled by the client, whether based on deficiencies in preparation that prejudiced the case and more or less required a settlement or on a negligent evaluation of the client's case, has been accepted by nearly every court that has faced the issue."); Ziegelheim v. Apollo, 128 N.J. 250, 607 A.2d 1298, 1304 (N.J. 1992) In Crosby v. State, 705 So. 2d 1356, 1358 (Fla. 1998), the Florida Supreme Court recognized that We do not resolve whether there may be circumstances in which the concept of judgmental immunity may go farther than recognized in Crosby. It is sufficient to conclude that judgmental immunity is not applicable where there is evidence that the attorneys fell below the standard of reasonable care in representing their client.