Legal Malpractice Law Review

Legal Malpractice Law Review

Research, resources & expertise in the law governing lawyers

Category Archives: Underlying Areas

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IL: Legal Malpractice Summary Judgements Denied!

Posted in Illinois, Real Estate
Racquet v. Grant, 318 Ill. App. 3d 831 (2000) IL: Underlying Property action Student Contributor: Rachel Vincent Facts: Plaintiff’s were being sued by their neighbor who was trying to enjoin plaintiffs from doing construction on their land. Defendants were responsible for representing plaintiffs in the suit (Platenka suit). Plaintiffs allege that defendants breached their duty… Continue Reading

NH: Legal Malpractice: The Innocent Guilty Plea (???)

Posted in Criminal Law, New Hampshire, Proximate Cause
Hilario v. Reardon, 158 N.H. 56 (2008). NH: Underlying Criminal Procedure, Guilty Plea Student Contributor: Peter J. Jannace FACTS: Plaintiff was indicted on various charges; he then entered into a plea arrangement with the State which provided that if he met certain conditions, including cooperating in other prosecutions, the State would petition for the suspension… Continue Reading

S.C. Legal Malpractice: No Guarantee for Underlying Arbitration Outcome

Posted in Real Estate, South Carolina
Harris Teeter, Inc. v. Moore & Van Allen, PLLC, 390 S.C. 275, 701 S.E. 2d 742 (2010) S.C. Underlying arbitration/breach of lease Student Contributor: Nicholas Seabrooks Facts:  Harris Teeter was a supermarket that leased property from a company that later sold the property to Eastbay Venture LLC. In the lease renewal contract Eastbay decided to amend… Continue Reading

NJ: Legal Malpractice: Exception to the Entire Controversy Doctrine

Posted in Entire Controversy Doctrine, Litigation, New Jersey, Torts/Personal Injury
Donohue v. Kuhn, 696 A.2d 664 (N.J. 1997)  NJ Underlying case: tort/personal injury/wrongful death Student Contributor: John Anzalone Facts: Plaintiffs retained Defendant attorney to represent them in a wrongful death and survivorship suit. The attorney failed to file the cases during the applicable  time period.   Plaintiffs secured another attorney after the statute of limitations… 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

CT: Filing the Same Bad Claim Twice Gets Your Claim Booted From Court

Posted in Connecticut, Family Law
Ross v. Forzani, 88 Conn. App. 365, 869 A.2d 682 (2005) CT: Underlying marriage dissolution matter Student Contributor: Nicholas Kingsbury Facts: Plaintiff retained a law firm to represent him in his marriage dissolution. One of the partners defected from that firm, and subsequently represented plaintiff’s wife in the marriage dissolution. Plaintiff asserted that the defecting… Continue Reading

NJ: Case of First Impression: “Litigation Privilege” Does Not Protect Attorney From Their Clients

Posted in Litigation, New Jersey
Buchanan v. Leonard 428 N.J. Super 277 (App. Div. 2012) NJ: Underlying Matter: Bankruptcy.  Designated defense counsel sued for malpractice for reporting to  carrier that client committed bankruptcy fraud, which leads carrier to deny coverage. Facts:   Attorney Buchanan was sued by his former clients for filing a legally deficient Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding on their… Continue Reading

NY: Continuous representation may trump three-year statute of limitations

Posted in Cases & Materials, Labor & Employent, Litigation, New York, Statute of Limitations
Aaron v. Roemer, Wallens & Mineaux, LLP, et al., Defendants, and Zahnleuter, 272 A.D.2d 752, 707 N.Y.S.2d 711 (2000) NY: underlying employment discrimination action Student Contributor: Alexis Trezza Facts: Plaintiff Steven L. Aaron was the defendant in two consolidated Federal sexual harassment suits. Defendant law firm Roemer, Wallens & Mineaux, or RWM (with defendant Richard… 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

KY: Judge As A Witness Not Permitted

Posted in Torts/Personal Injury
Marrs v. Kelly, 95 S.W.3d 856 (Ky. 2003) KY: Underlying Workers Compensation Student Contributor: Louis Dell Facts: Mars injured her back at work and brought a workers compensation claim. Mars was represented by Kelly. She received a 10% occupational disability settlement. Several years later she injured her back again and received the same settlement. She… Continue Reading

N.J. An “Unpublished” Primer on Damages and Attorney Fees in Legal Malpractice Actions

Posted in Attorneys Fees, Damages, New Jersey, Real Estate
Nix v. Verp, NJ App Div 2-18-2011 (Not approved for Publication). Underlying matter:  NJ Real estate closing; inappropriate title search resulting in legal malpractice action Ed. Note: We tend to diminish the value of unpublished decisions because of their limited precedential value. But make no mistake. As a means of getting a quick primer on… 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

IL:Criminal Litigant must prove “actual innocence” in addition to legal malpractice

Posted in Criminal Law, Illinois
Paulsen v. Cochran, 356 Ill. App. 3d 354 (2005) IL: Plea agreements, legal malpractice, actual innocence Student Contributor: Rachel Vincent Facts: Plaintiff Michael Paulsen is appealing the dismissal of his legal malpractice action against defendants. The complaint arose from the representation and sentence plaintiff received when he pled guilty to a drug offense in Arizona.… Continue Reading

CA: Sometimes, You Take What You Can Get

Posted in California, Fiduciary Duty, Litigation
Robins v. Kuhn, 2011 WL 2001852 (Ca. App. 2011) CA: Fiduciary Duty Student Contributor: Mordechai Buls Facts: Plaintiff and his two brothers sued a theater owner for wrongful death relating to their father’s fall at the theater.  Plaintiff’s brothers settled with the theater, but Plaintiff continued the suit substituting new counsel for mandatory settlement conferences and… Continue Reading

NC: No Liability for Lawyer’s Bad Investment Advice when Plaintiff Doesn’t Perform Due Diligence

Posted in North Carolina, Securities
Hahne v. Hanzel, 161 N.C. App. 494, 588 S.E.2d. 915 (2003) NC: Securities law Student Contributor: David Yanoff Facts:  Plaintiffs were experienced investors and businesspersons. Defendant, during the course of representing plaintiffs with respect to other unrelated matters involving incorporation, encouraged plaintiffs to invest in a company called Invinca-Shield. Defendant explained that Invinca-Shield was in… Continue Reading

CA:SLAPP: In House Lawyer Liability to Employer

Posted in California, Corporate Law, Insurance, Litigation
Fremont Reorganizing Corp. v. Faigin, 198 Cal. App. 4th 1153 (2011) CA: Attorney client relationship Student Contributor: Mordechai Buls Facts: Plaintiff, a former in-house attorney, sued Defendant for wrongful termination. Defendant filed a cross-complaint alleging breach of confidence, fiduciary duty, and ethical obligations, and claimed that after Plaintiff was discharged, he informed the California Insurance Commissioner… 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

NY: Conflict of Interest Waiver Not Sufficient to Support Summary Judgment

Posted in Conflicts of Interest, Corporate Law, New York
Roller v. Walsh, 278 A.D. 2d 811 (App. Div. 4th Dept. 2000) NY: Business Law; Conflicts in transaction Student Contributor: Adam Gardin Facts: Defendant represented and assisted plaintiffs in the formation of two limited liability companies. Plaintiffs brought legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty claims against defendant, for “advancing the interests of the fourth member… Continue Reading

CA: No Judicial Estoppel Without Court’s Reliance on Prior Representation

Posted in California, Intellectual Property
E-Pass Technologies, Inc. v. Moses & Singer, LLP, 189 Cal. App. 4th 1140 (2010), review denied (Feb. 23, 2011) CA: Judicial Estoppel Student Contributor: Mordechai Buls Facts: Plaintiff sued Defendant for malpractice after having lost a number of patent-infringement lawsuits in which it was subject to substantial attorney-fee awards. Plaintiff initially filed its malpractice suit in… Continue Reading

CT: Risky to Bring Legal Malpractice Claim Without an Expert Witness

Posted in Connecticut, Criminal Law, Litigation
Moore v. Crone, 114 Conn.App. 443, 970 A.2d 757 (2009) CT: Underlying criminal defense matter Student Contributor: Nicholas Scot Kingsbury Facts: Client sued his former attorney claiming negligence and breach of contract in his representation of the client in his criminal trial for attempted murder. The client alleged that the attorney failed to raise the issue of:… Continue Reading

CT: Collateral Estoppel Rule May Insulate Lawyers from Malpractice Claims

Posted in Connecticut, Labor & Employent
Alexandru v. Strong, 81 Conn. App. 68 (2004) CT: Underlying sex discrimination matter Student Contributor: Nicholas Scot Kingsbury Facts: The client hired an attorney to represent her in a sex discrimination suit against client’s former employer. The attorney filed the following claims against the employer on behalf of the client: breach of the implied covenant… Continue Reading