Legal Malpractice Law Review

Legal Malpractice Law Review

Research, resources & expertise in the law governing lawyers

Category Archives: Real Estate

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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

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

N.J. An “Unpublished” Primer on Damages and Attorney Fees in Legal Malpractice Actions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 Note: We tend to diminish the value of unpublished decisions because of their limited precedential value.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

GA: To Extend Statute of Limitations, Alleged Fraud Must Include an Aspect of Moral Turpitude

Posted in Georgia, Real Estate, Statute of Limitations
Kilby v. Shepherd, 339 S.E.2d 742 (Ga. App. 1986) GA: Underlying matter: Real Estate; Fraud Student Contributor: Paul Barnhill FACTS: Client hired attorney in connection with several deeds to real property her late husband had previously conveyed to his sister, claiming fraud and incompetency regarding the conveyance on March 20, 1975. Client did not specify… Continue Reading

NY: To Prevail on Summary Judgment, Defendant Attorney Must Show That Plaintiff Is Unable To Prove Any of the Required Elements in a Legal Malpractice Case

Posted in Family Law, New York, Real Estate
Ehlinger v. Ferlazzo, PC, 304 AD 2d 925 (3rd Dept. 2003) NY: Underlying Divorce Action Student Contributor: Mordechai Goldenberg Facts: Plaintiff retained defendants to represent him in a divorce action against his wife. One of the disputed issues in the action was ownership of certain real property titled solely in wife’s name. Plaintiff claimed an… Continue Reading

NY: “Substantial Relationship” as the Test for a Conflict of Interest

Posted in Conflicts of Interest, New York, Real Estate
Lightning Park, Inc. v. Wise Lerman & Katz, P.C., 197 A.D.2d 52 (1st Dep’t 1994). NY: Contract action; real estate development Student Contributor: Nicholas Tam Facts: Plaintiffs entered into a series of agreements to develop property on West 42nd Street in Manhattan. Plaintiff retained legal counsel from an attorney from the defendant law firm. The… 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

NY: Due Diligence in Real Estate Transactions: §1031 Exchanges

Posted in New York, Real Estate
Winters v. Dowdall 63 A.D.3d 650 (1st Dep’t 2009). NY: Real Estate Transaction Student Contributor: Nicholas Tam Facts: Plaintiff was selling New York real estate in accordance with exchange transactions section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code. In 2008, plaintiff retained defendant to perform a number of legal services including advising plaintiff regarding the selection… Continue Reading

NJ: Attorney Reliance on Defective Title Report Not Malpractice

Posted in New Jersey, Real Estate
Smith v Boyd 272 N.J. Super 186 (L. Div. 1993) NJ: Underlying foreclosure sale Student Contributor James Quinn Facts: Plaintiff won home at sheriff’s foreclosure sale. The sale was conducted at request of second mortgagee, represented by Defendant. However, there had been another mortgage on the property. Defendant relied on title report prepared by insurance… Continue Reading

NY: Attorney’s Negligence in Real Estate Negotiation Leads to Malpractice Liability

Posted in New York, Privity, Proximate Cause, Real Estate
Malik v. Beal, 54 A.D.3d 910 (App. Div. 2d Dept. 2008) NY: Underlying negligent negotiation of a contract for real estate Student Contributor: Jared Levy Facts: Plaintiff Malik, as purchaser, entered into a contract with the seller to purchase certain multiuse commercial real property and improvements. The plaintiff retained the defendant attorney to negotiate the… 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

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

CT: Client Cannot Seek to Avoid Statute of Limitations by Bringing Her Claim Under Contract Law

Posted in Connecticut, Real Estate, Statute of Limitations
Pelletier v. Galske, 105 Conn. App. 77, 936 A.2d 689 (Conn. App. 2007). CT: Underlying real estate matter Student Contributor: Laura Binski Facts: The client hired the lawyer in 2001 to help her with her purchase of a condominium. In 2006, the client brought a legal malpractice claim against the lawyer. The client claims that… Continue Reading

WV: No Proximate Cause = No Damages

Posted in Damages, Proximate Cause, Real Estate, West Virginia
Keister v. Talbott, 182 W.Va. 745, 391 S.E.2d 895 (W.Va. 1990) WV: Underlying real estate conveyance (mineral rights) Student Contributor: Karen Dindayal Facts: Keister retained Webster County attorney, William Talbott, to examine title to two tracts of land, specifically the ownership of the surface and coal and mining rights. Talbot drafted a general warranty deed on… Continue Reading

NC: Caught by the “Long Arm” of the Law

Posted in North Carolina, Real Estate
Summit Lodging, LLC v. Jones, Spitz, Moorhead, Baird & Albergotti, P.A., 176 N.C. App. 697, 627 S.E.2d 259 (2006) NC: Underlying Real Property Transaction Student Contributor: Vanessa L. Wachira Facts: Clients, non-residents of North Carolina, retained a South Carolina-based firm (“Attorneys”) to organize a North Carolina limited liability company for the purpose of purchasing, owning,… Continue Reading

VT: Judgmental Immunity for Legal Advice in Unsettled Areas of Law

Posted in Environmental, Land Use, Zoning, Real Estate, Vermont
Roberts v. Chimileski, 820 A.2d 995 (Vt. 2003) VT: Underlying Real Estate Subdivision; Environmental Law Student Contributor: Eric B. Kang Facts: Client, a real estate developer, consulted lawyers about a statute’s permit requirements concerning the subdivision of land into ten or more lots. The language pertinent to client stated that developers subdividing land into lots… 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

CT: Disclosure of Experts: Don’t Wait till its too Late!

Posted in Expert Witnesses, Real Estate
Beecher v. Greaves, 73 Conn. App. 561, 808 A.2d 1143 (Conn. App. 2002) CT: Underlying foreclosure action Student Contributor: Laura Binski Facts: The lawyer represented the client in two foreclosure actions in 1996. In 1997 and 1998, the client brought a legal malpractice action grounded in professional negligence against the lawyer. The client claims that… Continue Reading