• Business owner accused of sexual harassment in the workplace and other employment violations filed an action against his attorneys for professional negligence in advising him not to work with his insurance company and not to accept Cumis counsel, which led the insurance company to obtain a judgment from the court that the business owner breached his insurance policy by his failure to cooperate and therefore the insurance company had no duty to defend. The judgment of the court was affirmed on appeal.  The business owner, having to defend against the employment claims without insurance defense coverage, therefore asserted counsel’s advice fell below the standard of care.  Defendant attorneys disagreed based upon certain information they had regarding their former client’s business practices and potential criminal liability. 
  • A child sustained a head injury when hit by an automobile traveling on a dark street.  Mother alleged she hired an attorney who promised that in addition to settling with the driver, he would file a claim with the city for not properly lighting the street.  The attorney failed to file a government claim.  Once the mother found out that no claim had been filed, the government claim was time-barred and the attorney was deceased.  The child, with mother as guardian ad litem, sued the attorney’s estate and the practice administrator for professional negligence.  Defendants claimed, among other things, lack of causation by the city in the underlying case. ​​
  • Legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty action brought by the former manager of a country club against an attorney from whom he sought advice after the club offered him a demotion or, in the alternative, a severance package. When Plaintiff read derogatory and untrue statements made against him in a club newsletter, he sought the advice of the attorney to determine whether to revoke a severance agreement and sue for defamation. The malpractice suit alleged that the resulting advice and inaction of counsel fell below the standard of care and led to both the determination that there was no case against the country club as well as the club’s revocation of the severance package, causing the plaintiff damage.
  • Action against an attorney and a realtor and their corporations for fraud and malpractice brought by an elderly homeowner who alleged that the attorney and realtor claimed that they could get her a loan modification for a certain fee as well as funds necessary to process the modification. Plaintiff alleged that despite paying the amount requested, no loan modification was ever requested and that the attorney fell below the standard of care.
  • Action in which attorney sued his client for unpaid fees and client filed a crosscomplaint for legal malpractice in advising the client to go to arbitration in the underlying action. 

 Hon. MICHELLE R. ROSENBLATT (Ret.) 

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