Legal Malpractice Law Review

Legal Malpractice Law Review

Research, resources & expertise in the law governing lawyers

Category Archives: Pennsylvania

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LAWYER EXPERT NOT NEEDED TO WIN A SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Posted in Pennsylvania
Gans v. Mundy, 762 F.2d 338 (3d Cir. 1985) Underlying PA Tort Action Student Contributor: Colleen Gaedcke Facts: The appellant suffered injuries while commuting to work on a public bus. The appellant retained the appellee to represent him in the underlying action. The appellees filed suit against Amtrak but not against the South Eastern Pennsylvania … Continue Reading

PA: MALPRACTICE (MEDICAL) BEGETS MALPRACTICE (LEGAL)

Posted in Pennsylvania
Maxer v. Security Ins. Group, 368 F. Supp. 418 (E.D.Pa. 1973) Underlying PA Medical Malpractice Action Student Contributor: Colleen Gaedcke Facts: The plaintiff brought a medical malpractice action against a doctor who was insured by the defendant insurance company. At the time of the alleged medical malpractice the doctor had two insurance polices, one being … Continue Reading

PA & NJ: DAMAGES, UPDATED…

Posted in Damages, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
Professional Malpractice: Recovering Damages in Legal Malpractice Cases: An Update on What Type of Award, and How Much a Client Can Expect (New Jersey Law Journal, January 21, 2013).    In the quickly evolving field of lawyer malpractice, one area that seems to get less attention than others is compensable damages. The question is: What … Continue Reading

PA: One Giant Step for Legal Mal Plaintiffs in Pennsylvania

Posted in Attorneys Fees, Commercial, Damages, Defenses, Pennsylvania
Coleman v. Duane Morris, LLP (Superior Court of PA–Nov. 13, 2012) Underlying Matter: PA stock sale agreement to avoid personal tax liability; alleged breach of retainer contract claim for legal malpractice. Facts: Plaintiffs held ownership interests in two companies, BCA Management Inc. and BCA Professional Services, Inc. By 2006, the companies owed over $2 million … 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

PA: Caution: The Dangers of a Defective Certificate of Merit

Posted in Affidavit/Certificate of Merit, Pennsylvania
Parkway Corp. v. Edelstein, 2004 PA Super. 307, 861 A.2d 264 (2004). Student Contributor: Christine Maharaj PA: Underlying Professional Liability Action Facts: Attorneys filed a complaint in a wrongful death action but did not include a certificate of merit nor did attorneys request an extension for the filing period. Defense counsel successfully moved for judgment … Continue Reading

PA: Post-Withdrawal Liability

Posted in Commercial, Conflicts of Interest, Corporate Law, Pennsylvania
Capital Care Corp. v. Hunt 847 A.2d 75 (2004) PA: Underlying legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty claims Student Contributor: Christina Tsirkas FACTS: Client contracted with a group of British investors for the purchase of one of their subsidiaries. Together, client and these British investors planned to merge and purchase a large homecare business. … Continue Reading

PA: Judgmental Immunity for Bad Outcome is Not Malpractice

Posted in Criminal Law, Pennsylvania
Composition Roofers,etc. v. Katz 398 Pa. Super. 564; 581 A.2d 607 (1990) PA Underlying Criminal Action Student Contributor: Natalie Resto Facts: The Union retained the attorney to advise it on all legal matters. Thirteen of the Union’s former members were indicted for its alleged criminal attempts to benefit the Union and its members. The attorney … Continue Reading

PA: Legal Malpractice Claim Sounds in Tort, Not Contract

Posted in Federal, Pennsylvania, Statute of Limitations
Knopick v. Connelly, U.S.D.C., M.D. Pa., January 25, 2010. Facts: Knopick retained the services of the Defendant attorney in or about March 2007 order to pursue a claim for legal malpractice against his former attorneys in a divorce proceeding.  The Defendant attorney, however, refused to pursue the action and advised that Knopick statute of limitations … Continue Reading

PA: No Vicarious Liability if Lawyer Did Not Act in the Scope of His Employment

Posted in Pennsylvania, Real Estate, Vicarious Liability
Atkinson v. Haug, 622 A.2d 983 (Pa. Super. 1993). PA: Underlying real estate investment Student Contributor: Laura Binski Facts: Atkinson entered into a partnership agreement for an apartment complex with Haug, his friend and business associate. Haug was also a lawyer at Acton & Acton, P.C (“Acton”). The business investment failed, and Atkinson brought a … Continue Reading

PA: Speculative and Remote Claims Do Not Amount to a Cause of Action for Legal Malpractice

Posted in Damages, Pennsylvania, Torts/Personal Injury
Pashak v. Barish, 303 Pa. Super. 559, 450 A.2d 67 (1982). PA: Underlying negligence action Student Contributor: Laura Binski Facts: Mr. Pashak was injured working as a longshoreman. He sued the ship’s owner for negligence, claiming that the ship was unseaworthy. Mr. Pashak hired some lawyers who recommended that he settle the case out of … Continue Reading

PA: Circuit Court Comments on the Need for a Certificate of Merit

Posted in Affidavit/Certificate of Merit, Federal, Pennsylvania
Donnelly v. O’Malley & Langan. P.C., U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit (March 16, 2010). Facts: Donnelly filed an action for legal malpractice against his former attorneys who had represented him in a workers’ compensation matter. He raised claims of invasion of privacy under state law, breach of contract, legal malpractice, and violation of his … Continue Reading

PA: No Vicarious Liability if Lawyer Did Not Act in the Scope of His Employment

Posted in Pennsylvania, Scope of Representation, Vicarious Liability
Atkinson v. Haug, 622 A.2d 983 (Pa. Super. 1993). PA: Underlying real estate investment Student Contributor: Laura Binski Facts: Atkinson entered into a partnership agreement for an apartment complex with Haug, his friend and business associate. Haug was also a lawyer at Acton & Acton, P.C (“Acton”). The business investment failed, and Atkinson brought a … Continue Reading

PA: You Can’t Win ‘Em All: Negligent Referrals

Posted in Pennsylvania
Bourke v. Kazaras, 746 A.2d 642 (Pa. Super. 2000). PA: Underlying tort case By: Laura Binski Facts: The client was injured as a result of a fall on a cruise ship deck. The client contacted the Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) of the Philadelphia Bar to get a lawyer recommendation. The recommended lawyer failed … Continue Reading

PA: Class Action Lawyer Duty to Notify of Settlement

Posted in Pennsylvania
Zimmer Paper Products, Inc. v. Berger & Montague, P.C., 586 F. Supp. 1555 (E.D. Pa. 1984). PA: Underlying class action antitrust case By: Laura Binski Facts: Zimmer Paper Products (the client) was a member of a class action antitrust lawsuit. The lawsuit settled, and the client claims that it never received the letter giving notice … 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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