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Old 11-30-2007, 11:51 PM
Howard Treesong Howard Treesong is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

I'm considering hiring a professional malpractice lawyer to recover damages from my CPA. What should I be looking out for in terms of deciding whether to go forward, selecting a lawyer, etc.

I believe my agreement with my CPA states that we must go through arbitration in case of any disagreement. Do you think that I am likely to get a fair shake in arbitration?

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I've had mixed experiences with arbitration but am generally down on it. I tend to take great care in selecting an arbitrator and in your case would want to make sure he's not an industry captive. I thought the quality of arbitration in an NASD (National Association of Securities Dealers) I did was very poor; our ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) arbitrator was excellent.

If I were in your shoes, I'd think very seriously before I initiated a claim. Magnitude is obviously important, but causation equally so. Litigation of any type is rarely as clean-cut as it first appears, is full of heartache, stress, and is only occasionally worthwhile. I know these are general observations, perhaps bordering on platitudes.
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