Attorney-Client Relationship

Geraci v. Cramer

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In this unpublished decision, the Fifth District affirmed the dismissal of claims against attorneys.  Many of the claims were dismissed because they were time barred.   The court focused on the fact that the statute of limitations begins to run when a plaintiff has sufficient information to be on inquiry notice that he might have a claim.   Other claims were dismissed because an attorney hired by a condominium association did not have an attorney client relationship with or owe a duty to the individual members of the association.

Geraci v. Cramer

 

Bay Group Health Care, LLC v. Ginsberg Jacobs, LLC

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The district court granted summary judgment in favor of a law firm.   The court held that signing a confession of judgment did not create an attorney client relationship between the law firm and the judgment debtor.  The court also noted that, under Illinois law, a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct does not give rise to a cause of action or duty in tort. There is no “ethical malpractice” or “professional responsibility tort” in Illinois.

BAY GROUP HEALTH CARE, LLC v. GINSBERG JACOBS, LLC, Dist. Court, ND Illinois 2017

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

Stevens v. Sharif

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The court held that the plaintiff failed to state a claim against a lawyer, in part, because she failed to allege the existence of an attorney client relationship.   The fact that the plaintiff was represented by other counsel made it implausible that the defendant lawyer represented her.   The court further held that the claim was barred by the statute of limitations.   The claim accrued when the underlying bankruptcy court made its initial decision; accrual did not depend upon the result of the subsequent appeal.

Stevens v. Sharif, No. 15 C 1405, 2017 WL 449175 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 2, 2017)

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

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: 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: Barry v. Galloni

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The district court affirmed the bankruptcy court’s determination that a judgment in favor of an intended beneficiary against a lawyer who forged a witness’s signature on a will — resulting in the intended beneficiary losing the benefit of the will – could not be discharged in the lawyer’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding.

Barry v. Galloni, 2016 WL 245912

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

Recent Illinois Case: KS Trucking Enterprise Inc v. Albukerk

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In this unpublished order, the First District affirmed the dismissal of a malpractice claim arising out of an underlying action that was dismissed by default after the defendant lawyer had withdrawn as counsel for the malpractice plaintiff.  The court held that: (a) the malpractice complaint did not sufficiently allege that there was an attorney client relationship at the time of the default dismissal; and (b) the complaint failed to allege causation despite the fact it alleged that the malpractice defendant waived certain procedural defenses because it did not allege that other substantive defenses would have succeeded.

KS Trucking Enterprise Inc v. Albukerk, 2015 IL App (1st) 151230-U

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