Legal Malpractice Law Review

Legal Malpractice Law Review

Research, resources & expertise in the law governing lawyers

Category Archives: Litigation

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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

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

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

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

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

FL: Beware Before Firing Your Lawyer

Posted in Damages, Florida, Litigation
Dadic v. Schneider, 722 So.2d 921 (Fla. App. 1998) Fla. App: Underlying Foreclosure  Student Contributor: Ross Eisenberg Facts: Plaintiffs filed a complaint against their lawyer alleging one count of legal malpractice based on his failure to carry out their "specific instruction[s]" with respect to the litigation. They also made a claim for malpractice based on… Continue Reading

NY: Double Header: Case within a case, Within a Case…Plaintiff’s verdict Upheld

Posted in Case Within a Case, Duties: Investigate, Litigation, New York, Torts/Personal Injury
Christ v Law Offs. of William F. Levine & Michael B. Grossman, 72 A.D.3d 721 (2d Dep’t 2010) NY: Underlying legal malpractice suit Student contributor: Zahava Schwartz Facts: The underlying case was another legal malpractice action where the clients alleged that the lawyer did not timely bring a property damage claim from a sewer backup… Continue Reading

NY: Continuous Representation Tolls Statute of Limitations Against Predecessor Law Firm

Posted in Intellectual Property, Litigation, New York, Statute of Limitations
New Kayak Pool Corp, v. Kavinoky Cook LLP, 74 A.D.3d 1852, 902 N.Y.S.2d 497 (App.Div 4th Dpt. 2010) NY: Underlying Trademark Infringement Student Contributor: Richard Sadowski Facts: Plaintiff brought action for legal malpractice alleging that the defendant failed to ascertain the existence of insurance coverage in the plaintiff’s underlying trademark infringement action. The attorney, then… 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

CT: Trial Court May Enforce a Settlement When Its Terms Are Not In Dispute

Posted in Connecticut, Litigation, Torts/Personal Injury
Waldman v. Beck, 101 Conn. App. 669, 922 A.2d 340 (2007). CT: Underlying personal injury matter Student Contributor: Laura Binski Facts: The client hired the lawyer to represent her in a personal injury claim. The lawyer failed to appear in court on behalf of his client on several occasions and the complaint was dismissed with… Continue Reading

NC: Civil Procedure 101: Forgetting the Basics Could Cost You

Posted in Litigation, North Carolina, Real Estate
Bolton v. Crone, 162 N.C. App. 171, 589 S.E.2d 915 (2004) NC: Underlying Real Estate Transaction Student Contributor: Vanessa L. Wachira Facts: In September 2002, Billy Wendell Bolton (Client) brought an action for legal malpractice against John W. Crone, III and the firm of Gaither, Gorham & Crone (Attorneys) alleging that, during a real estate… Continue Reading

CT: No Duty to Offer Client Medical Advice to Enhance Value of Case

Posted in Connecticut, Litigation, Torts/Personal Injury
Wooten v. Heisler, 82 Conn. App. 815, 847 A.2d 1040 (Conn. App. 2004). CT: Underlying personal injury matter Student Contributor: Laura Binski Facts: The client was injured in a car accident and hired the lawyer to help him recover damages. After the lawyer brought a negligence action against the other driver, the client fired him… Continue Reading

7th Cir. No harm, no malpractice, even if the underlying settlement is “coerced”.

Posted in Damages, Defenses, Federal, Labor & Employent, Litigation, Torts/Personal Injury, Wisconsin
McKnight v. Dean, 270 F. 3d 513 Underlying legal malpractice action Student Contributor: Clem Durham Facts: A dispute then arose between McKnight and Gingras, the lawyer who had handled the case in the district court, concerning attorneys’ fees. This dispute led Gingras to sue McKnight in a Wisconsin state court. One of McKnight’s defenses in… Continue Reading

WA: The Expert Must Be Heard!

Posted in Case Within a Case, Expert Witnesses, Family Law, Litigation, Washington
Aubin v. Barton, 123 Wash. App. 592 (2004) WA: Underlying Divorce Action Student Contributor: Ben Doyle Facts:  Client sued  attorney for malpractice following attorney’s representation in the dissolution of marriage. Client claimed that attorney’s conduct at a settlement conference did not meet the standard of care. Client was the grantee of stock options. Attorney failed… Continue Reading

WV: Action in Tort Independent from Action in Contract

Posted in Litigation, Statute of Limitations, Torts/Personal Injury, West Virginia
Harrison v. Casto, 165 W.Va. 787, 271 S.E.2d 774 (W.Va. 1980) WV: Underlying  personal injury and legal malpractice actions Student: Karen Dindayal Facts: Plaintiff, Paul H. Harrison hired attorney Don Kingery (#1) to file a personal injury action against Piedmont Airlines for injuries allegedly suffered while a passenger on a Piedmont plane. King failed to… Continue Reading

LA: Malpractice Claims Not Assignable in Louisiana!

Posted in Litigation, Louisiana, Torts/Personal Injury
Taylor v. Babin, 13 So. 3d 633 (La. App. 2009) LA: Underlying Tort Suit Student Contributor: Laura Stein Facts:  Plaintiffs was in a motorboat accident that injured his two passengers.  He did not have liability insurance that would cover the passengers’ injuries so he retained another lawyer to file a voluntary petition in bankruptcy court.  The passengers filed… Continue Reading

AL: Timely filing for prison inmates

Posted in Alabama, Criminal Law, Defenses, Litigation
Aaron v. Mansell, 854 So.2d.96 (2003). AL: Underlying criminal case Student Contributor: Farah Shahidpour Facts:  Client hired Attorney. Client, now acting pro se, sues Attorney for legal malpractice and slander. Attorney filed an answer and denied both of Client’s allegations. Attorney cross-filed for summary judgment. Client filed a request for oral argument for evidentiary hearing, a… Continue Reading

AL: Lawyers’ “unsubstantiated and incomplete arguments”

Posted in Alabama, Litigation, Statute of Limitations, Torts/Personal Injury
Taylor v. Stevenson, 820 So.2d.810 (2001) AL: Underlying action for battery and invasion of privacy  Student Contributor: Farah Shahidpour Facts: Client hired Attorneys to represent her in a suit for battery and invasion of privacy against her employers. Client considered herself a victim of sexual harassment. The court entered judgment against one employer, but not… Continue Reading

SC: Plaintiff Loses Out on Potential Recovery for Sitting on Her Rights

Posted in Litigation, South Carolina, Statute of Limitations, Torts/Personal Injury
Kelly v. Logan, Jolley, & Smith, L.L.P., 383 S.C. 626 (S.C. App. 2009) SC: Underlying medical malpractice action Student Contributor: Karen Dindayal Facts:  Kelly gave birth to her son, Watavious Barker who was born with irreversible brain damage and other permanent injuries. After spending the first two years after birth in the hospital, Watavious was… Continue Reading

SC: Filing Frivolous Action Results in Attorney Sanctions

Posted in Duties: Investigate, Litigation, South Carolina, Standard of Care, Torts/Personal Injury
Ex parte Gregory, 378 S.C. 430 (S.C. 2008) SC: Underlying tort action-settlement Student Contributor: Karen Dindayal Facts:  Jerry Bittle sustained brain injuries from an automobile accident, rendering him mentally incompetent. Bittle’s mother, Melton, retained Malloy to represent Bittle for his injuries. Melton and Bittle reached a settlement with the insurance company for the claims made,… Continue Reading

AR: Court Denies Withdrawal when Foreseeable Prejudice to Client

Posted in Arkansas, Duties: Communicate, Litigation, Local & Co-Counsel, Standard of Care
Vang Lee v Mansour, 104 Ark. App. 91 (2008) AR: Underlying litigation Student Contributor: Meghan Jean Facts:  Mansour was one of two attorneys client Vang Lee hired to represent him in a lawsuit. When Attorney #2 (also named Lee)  left for a month-long vacation, he left instruction for Mansour to schedule a pretrial conference between… Continue Reading

TX: Years of Legal Practice and Judicial Experience Does Not an Expert Make

Posted in Expert Witnesses, Litigation, Texas
Cadle Co. v. Sweet & Brousseau, PC, (US Dist. Court, ND Texal, Dallas Div. 2006) TX: Underlying litigation Student Contributor: Megan Diodato Facts:   The client brought this action against former attorney and designated a former Texas Supreme Court Justice as an expert witness concerning legal malpractice issues in this case. Former Justice issued an… Continue Reading