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Maestas vs. Jay Goodman, Esq.

Maestas vs. Jay Goodman, Esq.

Santa Fe, NM, January 8, 2014-  In a Bench Ruling today by Santa Fe District Judge Sarah Singleton, the Jay Goodman, Attorney at Law, P.C., law firm, owned by attorney Jay Goodman, was ordered to return money to Plaintiffs they paid to the law firm for some of their legal representation. The court found that the law firm committed malpractice and made negligent misrepresentations related to filing a federal lawsuit on Plaintiffs' behalf.

Following two days of testimony before Judge Singleton in which Plaintiffs asked for an award of damages for Legal Malpractice, Fraud and Intentional Misrepresentation, the Judge concluded that although there was no evidence of fraud, the Goodman Law Firm and its attorneys did not have the experience to handle the type of Federal Civil Rights case they filed for Plaintiffs and did not properly evaluate the case before filing it in federal court. The federal case was initially filed against the Espanola School District, A.K.A.L. Security and others. Allegations made in the Federal Complaint by Espanola residents, Leland Maestas, Cristella Maestas and their minor daughter, were that the assault and battery by three Espanola students of their minor child, also a student, would not have happened if appropriate security measures were in place at the school.

The federal case was ultimately dismissed by the Court and a separate lawsuit was filed in state court under the New Mexico State Tort Claims Act. Speaking for the Plaintiffs, their present attorneys, David Ray Rosales and James Douglas Green, said the Plaintiffs felt vindicated that the Jay Goodman law firm must pay back their money. "They are very happy that the Court agreed with them -the Goodman law firm had no business telling my clients that they had a 'good case worth pursuing' when they did not do their homework -let alone know how to prosecute it. To add insult to injury, they kept telling my clients over and over again that they had a good case worth pursuing; they dropped them after my clients ran out of money." Said attorney Rosales, "they charged my clients over $82,000 in fees and took advantage of them by their malpractice and negligent misrepresentations. My clients were never advised that they had plenty of time to shop for another attorney to handle their lawsuit. These lawyers jumped at the chance to take their money. In my opinion, my clients became victims twice."