I had a case pending in Circuit Court in one of the counties in Middle Tennessee. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment and my lawyer forgot to respond on time so the judge dismissed my case. Can I sue my lawyer for not filing papers on time to keep my case alive?
Assuming that your lawyer had proper, timely notice of the motion for summary judgment and she was still representing you at the time the papers were due, she should have filed a response to the motion for summary judgment assuming that there was a good faith reason to oppose it. A lawyer cannot oppose a motion unless there is a good faith basis in the facts and / or the law to oppose it.
If you sue the lawyer, you will have to prove that (a) the lawyer should have filed on response; (b) the failure to file a response caused you to lose the motion; (c) if the case had not been dismissed you would have won the case; and (d) the amount of damages you would have won.
Expert testimony will be required to prove points (a) and (b).
If you want to sue this lawyer you must do so within one year of the time you knew or should have known that the lawsuit was dismissed. Failure to file suit on time will result in a loss of your rights.