Legal Malpractice Law Review

Legal Malpractice Law Review

Research, resources & expertise in the law governing lawyers

Category Archives: Commercial

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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

NJ: Reasonableness of Attorneys Fees Requires Expert Testimony

Posted in Attorneys Fees, Commercial, New Jersey
Brach, Eichler, etc. v. Ezekwo, 345 N.J. Super. 1 ( App. Div. 2001) NJ: Underlying contract cases Student Contributor: Le-el D. Sinai Facts: Defendant client retained attorney plaintiff to represent her in several attempts to get medical board certification and in disputes with insurance companies. The attempts to get  certification were unsuccessful. The attorney and… Continue Reading

GA: To Survive Summary Judgment Client Must be Specific as to Attorney’s Negligence

Posted in Affidavit/Certificate of Merit, Commercial, Georgia, Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs), Standard of Care
Roberts v. Langdale, 363 S.E.2d 591 (Ga. App. 1987) GA: Promissory Notes; Personal Guarantees Student Contributor: Paul Barnhill FACTS: Client hired Attorney in connection with a business deal involving a company called Versa-Tile. Versa-Tile issued two promissory notes in favor of The First National Bank of Valdosta, and Client became a personal guarantor on these… Continue Reading

FL: Attorney-Client Privilege May Apply Between Separate Attorneys Representing the Same Client

Posted in Commercial, Florida, Insurance, Local & Co-Counsel, Scope of Representation
Volpe v. Conroy, Simberg and Ganon, P.A., 720 So. 2d 537 (Fla. App. 1998) Fla. App: Underlying Construction litigation Student Contributor: Ross Eisenberg Facts: Clients were involved in construction litigation in which their insurance company hired Conroy, Simberg and Ganon (CSG) to represent them under a reservation of rights. The clients also hired their own personal… 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

NY: Defining Continuous Representation to Toll the SOL

Posted in Commercial, Corporate Law, New York, Statute of Limitations
R. Brooks Assoc., Inc. v Harter Secrest & Emery LLP ; 2012 NY Slip Op 00602 ; Decided on January 31, 2012 ; Appellate Division, NY: Underlying corporate and commercial transaction Student Contributor: Audrey Mars Facts: Plaintiff retained Defendant law firm to: (1) create a new corporation comprised of the assets of a financially failing… Continue Reading

NJ: The Latest on the Net Opinion Rule

Posted in Commercial, Expert Witnesses, New Jersey
Richard Tietjen, Robert H. Ahrens, III, and Wainwright Estates Partners, LLC v. Richard Mazawey, Esq. (per curiam) (NJ App. Div. Jan. 12, 2012 UNPUBLISHED) NJ: Underlying Commercial Action Student Contributor: Jennifer Hanley Facts: In this legal malpractice case, plaintiffs appeal from the order summarily dismissing their legal malpractice claim against defendant. Plaintiffs had retained defendant… Continue Reading

NJ: The Obligatory Defense of Legal Malpractice to Claims for Nonpayment of Attorney’s Fees

Posted in Attorneys Fees, Commercial, Damages, Litigation, New Jersey
Glass v. Suburban Restoration Co., Inc., 317 N.J. Super. 574, 722 A.2d 944 (App. Div. 1998). NJ Underlying Attorney’s Fee Dispute Student Contributor: Michelle Guardado Facts: Plaintiff attorney provided legal services for defendant for about eight months until defendant discharged plaintiff. During the period plaintiff represented defendant she submitted bills for legal services and disbursements.… Continue Reading

IN: Fraudulent concealment does not stop the clock on statute of limitations

Posted in Commercial, Conflicts of Interest, Indiana, Statute of Limitations
Keesling v. Baker & Daniels, 571 N.E.2d 562 (Ind. Ct. App. 1991) IN: Underlying bankruptcy action Student Contributor: Jeff Cain Facts: Lawyers represented clients in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. When the lawyers discovered that they may have a conflict of interest with one of their creditors, they had the clients hire other lawyers to… Continue Reading

Aggregate Settlements: A Lawyer’s Duty under R.P.C. 1.8(g)

Posted in Commercial, New Jersey, Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs)
The Tax Authority, Inc. v. Jackson Hewitt, Inc., 187 N.J. 4 (2006) NJ Underlying Commercial Action Student Contributor:  Melissa Goldberg Facts: This is an appeal from the decision of the N.J. Superior Court enforcing a settlement agreement. Franchisees sued Jackson Hewiit for improperly retaining funds in a loan risk pool after delinquent loans had been… Continue Reading

IL: Lawyer Duty of Care to Adversaries–Privity No Bar to Liability

Posted in Commercial, Duties: Investigate, Federal, Illinois, Standard of Care
Greycas, Inc. v. Proud, 826 F. 2d 1560 (7th Cir. 1987) Underlying loan transaction–duty to adversary Student Contributor: Clem Durham Facts: Theodore S. Proud, Jr., a member of the Illinois bar who practices law in a suburb of Chicago, appeals from a judgment against him for $833,760, entered after a bench trial. The original plaintiff,… Continue Reading

NY: Continuous Representation in Unrelated Matters Will Not Toll Statute of Limitations

Posted in Commercial, New York, Real Estate, Statute of Limitations
Hasty Hills Stables, Inc. v. Dorfman, Lynch, Knoebel & Conway, LLP, 52 A.D.3d 566, 860 N.Y.S.2d 182 (App. Div. 1st Dep’t 2008). NY: Underlying real estate matter Student contributor: Nicole Milone Facts: Hasty Hills Stables, Inc. (Hasty Hills) obtained Dorfman, Lynch, Knoebel & Conway, LLP (law firm) to represent them in the purchase of real… Continue Reading

7th Cir: A Claim, By Any Other Name…

Posted in Commercial, Conflicts of Interest, Corporate Law, Expert Witnesses, Federal, Fiduciary Duty, Legal Ethics, Litigation
Hoagland v. Sandberg, Phoenix & Von Gontard, 385 F. 3d 737 (2004) 7th Cir.: Underlying legal malpractice claim Student Contributor: Clem Durham Facts: The district court determined after a bench trial that Hoagland’s suit failed as a suit for legal malpractice. Hoagland doesn’t disagree. His grievance is that he should have been allowed either to… Continue Reading

FL: OK to Assign Legal Mal Cause of Action for the Benefit of Creditors

Posted in Commercial, Florida, Privity, Securities
Kaplan v. Cowan Liebowitz & Latman, P.C., 832 So.2d 138 (Fla. App. 2002) FL: Underlying private placement securities offering Student Contributor: Farah Shahidpour Facts: Medical Research Industries, Inc. (MRI) was a Florida corporation in the business of marketing medical products. William Tishman, was the majority shareholder, CEO, Chairman, secretary, treasurer, and director of MRI. MRI… Continue Reading

NY: On Defining the Elements of a Fiduciary Duty

Posted in Commercial, Fiduciary Duty, New York, Real Estate
Roni LLC, et al. v. Afra et al., 2010 WL 3703047, September 16, 2010 NY: Underlying real estate investments Facts: This action arose from a series of business transactions in which investors acquired membership interests in limited liability companies that purchased and managed multi-family residential buildings in NY. The Defendants, either directly or through their… Continue Reading

NY: Disciplinary Violations Without More Don’t Add up to “But For” Causation

Posted in But for-Proximate Cause, Commercial, New York, Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs)
Nason v. Fisher, 36 A.D.3d 486; 828 N.Y.S.2d 51 (2007) NY: Underlying Commercial Transaction Student Contributor: Colleen Gaedcke Facts: The plaintiff retained the defendant attorneys based on one of the defendant attorneys representation that he was experienced in handling commercial partnership cases. The plaintiff brought a cause of action against the defendant for false representation… Continue Reading

NY: Intra-Family Business Transactions:The Perils of Multiple Representation

Posted in Commercial, Conflicts of Interest, Corporate Law, New York
Sitar v. Sitar, 50 A.D.3d 667, 854 N.Y.S.2d 536 (2008) NY Underlying Commercial Transaction: Conflicts of Interest Student Contributor: Maninder (Meena) Saini Facts: Client (plaintiff) brought an action against attorney and attorney’s law firm (defendants), alleging legal malpractice. This action arose out of attorneys’ representation of plaintiff in the sale of the plaintiff’s business to his… Continue Reading

NY: Statute of Limitations CPLR 214 (6) 3 years!

Posted in Commercial, New York, Statute of Limitations
Kahn v. Hart, 270 A.D.2d 231 (N.Y. App. Div. 2d Dep’t 2000) NY: Underlying loan transaction Student Contributor: Melissa Goldberg Facts: The Plaintiff commenced this action against Defendants alleging legal malpractice arising from representation on two loan transactions. The Plaintiff alleged that he did not learn until ten years later, after defaults on the loans,… Continue Reading

“Bad Faith”: A Prerequisite to NJ Frivolous Litigation Sanctions

Posted in Commercial, Litigation, New Jersey
Torgro Limousine Service, Inc v. 76 Carriage Co., Inc., Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, May 25, 2010 Facts:  The defendant filed suit against the plaintiff in Pennsylvania for breach of contract.  Defendant obtained a default judgment and docketed the judgment in New Jersey.  Plaintiff then unsuccessfully attempted to reopen the default judgment in Pennsylvania. … Continue Reading

TX: Expert Testimony Necessary to Establish Proximate Cause

Posted in But for-Proximate Cause, Commercial, Expert Witnesses, Proximate Cause, Texas
Primis Corp. v. Milledge, Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth District, Houston, May 27, 2010 Facts:  Defendants agreed to represent the plaintiffs in a certain lawsuit and plaintiffs paid the defendants a $5,000 retainer.  Plaintiffs contend the retainer was a "general retainer", while Defendants contend the retainer was specifically for the work to be performed… Continue Reading
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