Legal Malpractice Law Review

Legal Malpractice Law Review

Research, resources & expertise in the law governing lawyers

Category Archives: Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs)

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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

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

NJ: Settle and Sue Continued, Puder Rejected

Posted in But for-Proximate Cause, Conflicts of Interest, Damages, New Jersey, Proximate Cause, Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs), Standard of Care, Substantial Factor-Proximate Cause
Gorjuice Wrap, Inc. v. Okin, Hollander & De Luca, LLP, N.J. App. Div., January 12, 2011 (Unpub.) Facts:  Kang retained Attorney Watkins to assist her in negotiating a commercial lease with the Talmos.  Unbeknownst to Kang, Watkins had been a longtime attorney for the Talmos.  In fact, he had represented them in their purchase of… Continue Reading

NJ: RPC 1.16: The Duty to Protect Prior Client’s Interests

Posted in Litigation, New Jersey, Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs)
Strauss v. Fost, 209 N.J. Super. 490, 507 A.2d 1189 (App. Div. 1986) NJ Underlying Personal Injury Suit Student Contributor: Evan Kusnitz Facts: Client’s insurance company retained Attorney to defend Client in a personal injury suit arising from a car accident. Attorney informed Client that if he wished to make a cross-claim for property damages, he must… 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

Third Circuit: Applies Baxt and Distinguishes Petrillo

Posted in Family Law, Federal, New Jersey, Privity, Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs)
Flaherty-Wiebel v. Morris, Downing & Sherred, Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, June 10, 2010 Facts:  At the request of their client, Wiebel (Plaintiff’s former husband), the Defendant attorneys drafted a pre-nuptial agreement.  Plaintiff was advised that Defendant attorneys had drafted the agreement on behalf of Wiebel.  Plaintiff was represented by separate counsel during the negotiation of… Continue Reading

PA: Injunctive Relief Available for Breach of the Rules of Professional Conduct

Posted in Conflicts of Interest, Legal Ethics, Pennsylvania, Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs)
Maritrans GP, Inc. v. Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz, 529 Pa. 241; 602 A.2d 1277 (Pa., 1992) PA Underlying Legal Ethics Matter Student Contributor: Lisa Larato Facts: This legal malpractice action was commenced by the Plaintiff, Maritrans GP, Inc., former clients of the Defendant law firm, due to the law firm’s representation of the Plaintiffs’ competitors, entities… Continue Reading

NJ: Doing Business With Your Clients: DON’T!

Posted in Fiduciary Duty, New Jersey, Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs)
Profit Sharing Trust for Marprowear Corporation v. Lampf, Lipkind, Prupis, Petigrow & Labue 267 N.J. Super. 174, 630 A.2d 1191 (1993) NJ Underlying Investment Transaction Student Contributor: Natalie Resto Facts: A law firm asked a long term client  if it would be interested in investing money in an insurance group. Without advice from independent legal… Continue Reading

NJ: “Safe” Withdrawal: 90 days before the Statute of Limitations Runs

Posted in Disengagement, Land Use, Zoning, New Jersey, Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs), Standard of Care, Statute of Limitations
Fraser v. Bovino, 317 N.J.Super. 23 (App. Div. 1998) Student Contributor: Lisa Larato NJ Underlying Real Estate/Land Use Transaction Facts: A deal for the sale of land fell through due to delays caused by challenges to the municipal approval of a condominium project. The real estate agent (Fraser) and the landowners (Genlaws) brought an action… Continue Reading

NJ: No Legal Malpractice Cause of Action for Violation of an R.P.C.

Posted in Commercial, New Jersey, Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs)
Baxt v. Liloia, 155 N.J.190 (1998) Student Contributor: Ryan O’Donnell NJ Underlying Commercial Action Facts: Plaintiffs, who were previously defendants in a foreclosure action, filed a complaint against the attorneys who represented the mortgage bank. Plaintiffs sought damages for a breach of the Rules of Professional Conduct, alleging that the bank’s attorneys actively mislead plaintiffs… Continue Reading

Legal Malpractice: For Not Blowing the Whistle on Your Referring Attorney?

Posted in New Jersey, Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs), Wills Trusts & Estates
Estate of Spencer v. Gavin, 400 N.J. Super 220, 946 A.2d 1051 (App Div. 2008) NJ Underlying Wills, Trusts & Estates. Facts: Gavin and Averna, had their law offices in the same building and frequently worked on cases together. Gavin, was executor of Spencer’s will and he hired Averna to establish a charitable foundation pursuant… Continue Reading

Duties that Survive the Attorney-Client Relationship

Posted in Disengagement, Litigation, New Jersey, Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs), Torts/Personal Injury
Gilles v. Wiley, Malehorn & Sirota, 345 N.J. Super. 119, 783 A.2d 756 (N.J.Super.A.D., 2001) NJ Underlying case: Litigation; Medical Malpractice Student Contributor: Geri Mulligan Facts: Lawyer represents plaintiff in a medical malpractice case. Six months after getting a favorable expert witness report, lawyer writes to client that his firm has reconsidered and will not… Continue Reading