John David Mooney v. Michael Frazier and Frazier & Oxley, L.C.

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The circuit court certifies the following questions:

1. Whether the statute of limitations on a legal malpractice action stemming from the defense of a criminal defendant begins to run when the criminal defendant files a habeas corpus petition claiming that he suffered in effective assistance of counsel in the underlying proceedings? Circuit Court's Answer: Yes.

2. Is a criminal defendant collaterally estopped from filing a civil legal malpractice claim against his attorney until the underlying criminal conviction is overturned? Circuit Court's Answer: No.

3. Whether, under West Virginia law, an attorney who is court appointed to represent a criminal defendant in a federal criminal prosecution is immune from purely state law claims of legal malpractice stemming from the underlying criminal proceedings? Circuit Court's Answer: No.