In this unpublished opinion, the First District affirmed the dismissal of a legal malpractice claim due to plaintiff’s inability to establish that the defendant lawyer’s conduct caused damages.
The suit alleged malpractice by two separate law firms who allegedly failed to give their insurance carrier client notice that the underlying plaintiff had made a policy limit settlement demand. The underlying personal injury case was filed against an employer and employee. The insurance carrier retained one law firm to represent the employer and a separate law firm to represent the employee. During the underlying litigation, the plaintiff sent letters making policy-limit settlement demands to both law firms. The case did not settle and the plaintiff won a large jury verdict. Thereafter, the employer assigned its rights against the insurance carrier to the underlying plaintiff, who brought a bad faith refusal to settle lawsuit against the insurance carrier. The bad faith complaint’s allegations mentioned only the employer’s law firm and the employee’s law firm which also received the policy limit settlement demand letter. The carrier settled the bad faith claim and then sued both law firms for malpractice. The court affirmed the dismissal of the malpractice claim against the law firm not named in the bad faith complaint. Even though the insurance carrier alleged it would have known of the settlement demand sent to the employer’s law firm if the employee’s law firm had given notice of the demand it received, the court held that was insufficient to establish causation. The court further held that the employee’s law firm could not have proximately caused the insurance carrier’s injury because only the employer assigned its claim to the underlying plaintiff who brought the bad faith claim.
In this unpublished opinion, the first district dismissed a claim because the insurance carrier that covered the losses caused by the underlying legal malpractice was the real party in interest as the subrogee of the named plaintiff, but was not named as the plaintiff in the complaint.
The first district affirmed a jury verdict in favor of a law firm in a legal malpractice case. It held, among other things, that the jury was allowed to find that a lawyer’s negligence in documenting the terms of a deal was not the cause of the client’s loss when the client had an opportunity to read the documents.
In this unpublished opinion, the 4th district held that misrepresentations in malpractice insurance applications did not affect the renewals of the policy; each policy is a stand-alone policy. The court also held that if there is a possibility of covered damages, the insurer has a duty to defend.
The District Court for the Northern District of Illinois denied a plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment in a legal malpractice case. The plaintiff argued that a Last Will and Testament drafted by his attorneys was ambiguous. The court held that it whether drafting an ambiguous will was a breach of the standard of care was a question for the jury.
In this unpublished opinion, the First District affirmed the dismissal of a legal malpractice claim due to the complaints failure to allege causation. The court held that plaintiffs’ loss had either; (a) already occurred when he retained lawyers, and thus they did not cause it; or (b) was caused by another party’s breach of contract as to which he still retained a viable cause of action.
In an unpublished opinion, the First District affirmed the dismissal of a malpractice claim on statute of limitations grounds. The court’s holding was primarily based upon the principle that a legal malpractice claim related to litigation accrues when an adverse judgment is rendered. The court further held that actual knowledge of legal malpractice is not required to trigger the limitations period and a professional opinion that legal malpractice has occurred is not required before a plaintiff is charged with knowing facts that would cause him to believe his injury was wrongfully caused.