Recent Illinois Case: Short v. Grayson

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The Northern District of Illinois enforced an arbitration clause in an attorney retainer agreement.  In doing so, the Court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that it was against public policy to enforce an arbitration agreement in an attorney retention agreement where the lawyer fails to fully explain the clause.

Short v. Grayson, No. 16 C 2150, 2016 WL 7178463 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 9, 2016)

(This is for informational purposes and is not legal advice.)

Recent Illinois Case: Webb v. Maclin

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In this unpublished opinion, the Fifth District reversed the grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant on statute of limitations and statute of repose grounds.  The Appellate Court held that there was an issue of fact regarding when the plaintiff knew or should have known of the alleged wrong; therefore, summary judgment was inappropriate with respect to the statute of limitations.   The court also held that summary judgment was inappropriate on the statute of repose because there was an issue of fact as to when the defendant’s last act of negligence occurred.

Webb v. Maclin, 2016 IL App (5th) 150230-U

(This is for informational purposes and is not legal advice.)

 

Recent Illinois Case: Jaos v. Vold

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In this unpublished opinion, the First District reversed the Circuit Court’s dismissal of a malpractice complaint pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-619.

The court held that there was an issue of fact as to whether the defendant lawyer adequately advised the plaintiff about the effect of liens on a business the plaintiff was purchasing.  The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the issue was so clear that no expert testimony on the issue was required.

Jaos v. Vold, 2016 IL App (1st) 152539-U

(This is for informational purposes and is not legal advice.)

 

Recent Illinois Case: Bachewicz v. Holland & Knight

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In this unpublished opinion, the First District affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to a law firm.

The court held that the case was time-barred despite the plaintiff’s argument that he did not know the amount of his damages until less than two years from the time he brought his claim. The court held that it is not necessary to know the amount of damages for the statute of limitations to begin to run.

The court also held that the plaintiff failed to create a genuine issue of fact sufficient to defeat summary judgment because he did not identify the documents that allegedly led him to discover his damages.

Finally, the court affirmed summary judgment for the defendants on the plaintiff’s legal malpractice claim arising out of a transfer of real estate with which the defendants assisted because the plaintiff admitted that the transfer occurred after the attorney-client relationship had terminated.

Bachewicz v. Holland & Knight, 2016 IL App (1st) 153394-U

(This is for informational purposes and is not legal advice.)

Recent Illinois Case: Mustafa v. NSI International, Inc.

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The Northern District dismissed a legal malpractice claim in which a former employee attempted to sue her employer’s attorney. The court held that the attorney owed no duty to the former employee and that the claim was time barred.

Mustafa v. NSI International, Inc.,  2016 WL 6778888

(This is for informational purposes and is not legal advice.)

Recent Illinois Case: Webster Bank N.A. v. Pierce & Associates P.C.

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The Northern District of Illinois partially dismissed a legal malpractice claim. The court held that, where a claim remained viable after new counsel took over for the allegedly negligent lawyer, the client could not state a claim for legal malpractice or breach of fiduciary duty.

However, the court allowed the claims to proceed where the plaintiff had adequately alleged that the claims were no longer viable when turned over to subsequent counsel.

Webster Bank N.A. v. Pierce & Associates P.C., 2016 WL 6082356

(This is for informational purposes and is not legal advice.)

Recent Illinois Case: Goldfine v. Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Perlman

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The Illinois Supreme Court addressed malpractice damages arising out of the negligent failure to preserve an Illinois Securities Law Claim. The Court held that, had the lawyers properly preserved the Securities Law Claim, statutory damages would have been awarded. Thus, actual damages in the malpractice action included the statutory damages, such as interest and attorneys’ fees, that would have been awarded pursuant to the Securities Law Claim.

The Court rejected the defendants’ argument that such damages were barred by Illinois’ prohibition on awarding punitive damages against attorneys. The Court also held that interest should be awarded from the date of the purchase of stock through the date that the plaintiff settled the underlying claim, not through the date of the malpractice judgment. Finally, the court held that interest should be calculated before the underlying settlement is deducted from the malpractice damages.

Goldfine v. Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Perlman, 2014 IL 116362

(This is for informational purposes and is not legal advice.)