Legal Malpractice Law Review

Legal Malpractice Law Review

Research, resources & expertise in the law governing lawyers

Category Archives: Privity

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Texas | Implied Relationship | Lawyer Malpractice | Privity |Contract Breach|

Posted in Discovery Rule, Privity, Texas
Sotelo v. Stewart, 281 S.W.3d. 76 (Tex App. 2008) TX: Underlying Contract law Student contributor: David Yanoff Facts:  Defendant had represented plaintiff’s husband in a breach of contract action. The husband had signed a contract to purchase real property in 1991, to which plaintiff was not a party. When he defaulted, a judgment of $82,000… Continue Reading

NY: Insurer Sues Assigned Attorney for Malpractice

Posted in Insurance, New York, Privity
Kumar v. Am. Transit Ins. Co., 854 N Y.S.2d 274, 275 (App. Div. 4th 2008). NY: Underlying Insurance Case. Student Contributor: Le-el D. Sinai Facts: Plaintiffs sued defendant Hiscock attorneys and the insurance company (American Transit Insurance Company, or “American”) for assigning the defendant to plaintiffs underlying case. American commenced a third-party action, alleging that… Continue Reading

PA: Joining Plaintiff’s Attorneys as Defendants in Legal Mal Action

Posted in Pennsylvania, Privity, Real Estate
Austin J. Richards, Inc. v. McClafferty, 317 Pa. Super. 269, 538 A.2d 11 (1988). Student Contributor: Christine Maharaj PA: Underlying Real Estate Dispute Facts: Owner of real estate retained attorneys to assist her in selling it. Attorneys appointment was general without any written agreement defining their duties and authority to act on owner’s behalf. Corporation… Continue Reading

NY: Attorney’s Negligence in Real Estate Negotiation Leads to Malpractice Liability

Posted in New York, Privity, Proximate Cause, Real Estate
Malik v. Beal, 54 A.D.3d 910 (App. Div. 2d Dept. 2008) NY: Underlying negligent negotiation of a contract for real estate Student Contributor: Jared Levy Facts: Plaintiff Malik, as purchaser, entered into a contract with the seller to purchase certain multiuse commercial real property and improvements. The plaintiff retained the defendant attorney to negotiate the… Continue Reading

NJ: Legal Malpractice Expert Shielded by Absolute Litigation Privilege

Posted in Expert Witnesses, New Jersey, Privity, Torts/Personal Injury
Reilly, Supple & Wischusen, LLP v. Malcolm Blum v. Michael P. Ambrosio (NJ App. Div. March 9, 2011 UNPUBLISHED) NJ: Underlying legal malpractice action FACTS:  Attorney Blum was sued by a former client   in an underlying legal malpractice action,   which was dismissed on summary judgment eventhough plaintiff had a legal malpractice expert report.  Blum was represented… Continue Reading

MD: Discovery Rule and its Limits

Posted in Maryland, Privity, Wills Trusts & Estates
Bank of New York v. Sheff, 382 Md. 235, 854 A.2d 1269 MD: Underlying Bond Issuance Student Contributor: Vanessa L. Wachira Facts: In a complex sale of nearly $50 million tax-exempt revenue bonds held by Prince George’s County involving numerous borrowers, Bondholders (represented by The Bank of New York (“Trustee”)), underwriters and attorneys, Piper &… Continue Reading

NC: No Privity? No problem. Privity Not Required at Time of Injury to Sustain Malpractice Action

Posted in North Carolina, Privity, Torts/Personal Injury
Wood v. Hollingsworth, 166, N.C. App 637, 603 S.E.2d 388 (2004) NC: Underlying Personal Injury Claim Student Contributor: Vanessa L. Wachira Facts: After sustaining injuries in an automobile accident on March 8, 1997, Client retained the services of Barbara Hollingsworth (Attorney).  In December 1999 Client instructed Attorney to file suit against the other driver.  In… Continue Reading

NY: Suing the Adversary’s Attorney: NO WAY!

Posted in Family Law, New York, Privity
Breen v. Law Office of Bruce A. Barket, P.C., 52 A.D.3d 635, 862 N.Y.S.2d 50 (2nd Dept. 2008) NY: Underlying Divorce Settlement Student Contributor: Daniel Schick Facts: During the course of resolving a divorce action, Eileen (“Plaintiff”), and her former husband, George, executed various stipulations of settlement to resolve their respective equitable distribution claims as… Continue Reading

CT: Lawyer’s Negligent Drafting of a Will Opens Door to Third Party Liability

Posted in Connecticut, Privity, Wills Trusts & Estates
Licata v. Spector, 26 Conn. Supp. 378, 225 A.2d 278 (1966). CT: Underlying will matter Student Contributor: Laura Binski Facts: The client hired the lawyer to draft her last will and testament. The lawyer failed to ensure that the will provided the required number of witnesses. As a result, the Probate Court declared the will… Continue Reading

NJ: No Privity, No Problem

Posted in Federal, New Jersey, Privity, Wills Trusts & Estates
Rathblott v. Levin, 697 F. Supp. 817 (D.C. N.J. 1988) NJ Underlying Probate Action Student Contributor: Christopher S. Henn Facts: The decedent, an attorney, suffered esophageal cancer for ten years until his passing. During his final days he executed several wills with the aid of the defendant, a partner in the decedent’s law firm. The… Continue Reading

OH: Promises Don’t Lead to Privity

Posted in Ohio, Privity
Kathy Lynn Darrow v. Steven E. Zigan, Esq., et al., 2009 Ohio 2205  Student Contributor: Shiv Vydyula Facts: Plaintiff contends that she was a third party beneficiary in the underlying divorce action, and therefore, in privity with the defendant attorney. By way of explanation, she provided that the attorney for her ex-husband told her he… Continue Reading

AR: Carrier Malpractice Suit Against Designated Defense Counsel Requires Privity

Posted in Arkansas, Privity, Torts/Personal Injury
Great Am. Ins. Co. v. Dover, 456 F.3d 909 (8th Cir. Ark. 2006) AR: Underlying wrongful death Student Contributor: Meghan Jean Facts: Darren O’Quinn and David Couch represented Advocat Inc. in the wrongful death of Margaretha Sauer at Rich Mountain Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Great American Insurance Company insured Advocat. Although O’Quinn and Couch had… Continue Reading

DC: Brand New Claim Against Lawyers? “Tortious Involvement in Litigation”

Posted in Federal, Privity
Perry v. Scholar, U.S.D.C., District of Columbia, March 19, 2010. Facts: From 1985-2005, Perry, an accountant, served as a paid plan administrator for a pension plan.  At the same time, Scholar served as the plan’s attorney.  In or about 2006, the plan filed suit against Perry, Scholar and other defendants for breach of fiduciary duty… Continue Reading

SC: Nonexistent Will Equals Nonexistent Duty

Posted in Privity, South Carolina, Wills Trusts & Estates
Rydde v. Morris, 381 S.C. 643 (S.C. 2009) SC: Underlying estate matter Student Contributor: Karen Dindayal Facts:  Johanna W. Knight was an elderly person, who retained Morris to handle her estate planning matters. In the estate planning questionnaire provided by Morris, Knight named Rydde and Konij as her prospective will beneficiaries on September 22, 2005.… Continue Reading

FL: Privity, a Continuing Relationship?

Posted in Florida, Labor & Employent, Privity
Elkind v. Bennett, 958 So.2d 1088 (2007). FL: Underlying labor dispute Student Contributor: Farah Shahidpour Facts: Client hired Attorney to represent himself, his business venture, and his business partner in a labor dispute brought against the business. The suit was one for harassment. The matters were settled, and Attorney signed the settlement on behalf of… Continue Reading

TX: Duty Imposed on an Attorney to a Non-Client is Limited

Posted in Privity, Real Estate, Texas
Kastner v. Jenkens & Gilchrist, P.C., 231 S.W.3d 571 Tex. App. 2007 TX: Underlying Commercial Real Estate Action Student Contributor: Megan Diodato Facts: The non-client, as owner of one of fifteen limited partnership interests in a partnership, asserted claims against counsel for the partnership based on his participation in the purchase of the partnership’s sole… Continue Reading

NJ’s Petrillo v. Bachenberg, Kentucky Style: Attorney’s Duties to Third-Parties

Posted in Privity
Tipton v. Porter, Court of Appeals of Kentucky, September 17, 2010 Facts:  The Tiptons purchased a home from the Lucases.  The Lucases engaged the services of Porter & Associates, Attorneys at Law.  The Tiptons never met any member of Porter & Associates, but were charged a portion of the overall closing fee associated with the transaction.… Continue Reading

AL: Alabama Legal Services Liability Act

Posted in Alabama, Privity
Smith v. Math, 984 So.2d 1179 (2007) AL: Underlying collection action Student Contributor: Farah Shahidpour Facts: Attorney, Math, practices law in Alabama. He filed a collection action against Smith in Montgomery District Court on behalf of his client, Max Federal Credit Union, Attorney obtained a default judgment against Smith in the amount of $2,767.71. Smith… Continue Reading

OH: Failure to Name Individual Attorney Results in Dismissal of Malpractice Action

Posted in Ohio, Privity
Bohan v. Jackson, Court of Appeals of Ohio, July 22, 2010.  Facts:  Shortly prior to his death, Bohan’s father indicated his desire to his attorney, Kennedy, to amend a revocable trust to make Bohan the sole beneficiary.  The father executed a handwritten statement, in Kennedy’s presence, directing his firm to amend the trust agreement accordingly.  The… Continue Reading

PA: No Privity, No Certificate of Merit

Posted in Affidavit/Certificate of Merit, Pennsylvania, Privity
Sabella v. Estate of Milides, 992 A.2d 180 (Pa. Superior March 25, 2010).  Facts:  The representatives of the Estate of Milides commenced an action arguing that Sabella participated in a fraudulent transfer of property to avoid satisfaction of a substantial judgment. Sabella filed preliminary objections.  Shortly thereafter, the Estate, through its attorney, filed a praecipe (writ) for… Continue Reading
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