Recent Illinois Cases

Recent Illinois Case: Hyatt Johnson USA 2004 LLC v. Goldsmith

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In this unpublished order, the First District affirmed in part and reversed in part the trial court’s grant of summary judgment for the defendants.

The malpractice claims related to the drafting of investment documents and settlement documents. The Appellate Court affirmed dismissal of the claims based upon the investment documents. The plaintiffs asserted that the documents resulted in the appointment of a receiver and sought to recover the fees paid to the receiver. The court, however, held that the plaintiffs were not damaged because there was no evidence that the receiver’s fees were greater than the fees that would have been paid to a manager.

The court also held that the criminal theft of funds from the entity was an intervening cause prohibiting the plaintiffs from establishing proximate cause because there was no evidence that the theft was foreseeable.

The court reversed summary judgment on the malpractice claims related to the settlement documents. The court held that if the defendants’ negligence in drafting the settlement documents allowed funds to be transferred to an entity not entitled to the funds, the plaintiffs will be able to prove “specific and identifiable damages” associated with their efforts to recover those funds.

Hyatt Johnson USA 2004 LLC v. Goldsmith, 2016 IL App (1st) 151622-U 

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

Recent Illinois Case: Kirkliauskas v Vernor Moran LLC

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In this unpublished order, the First District reversed a grant of summary judgment. The court held that there were factual issues regarding whether defendants alleged malpractice caused plaintiffs’ losses. In particular, there were questions of fact regarding whether the plaintiffs would have been successful in recovering property they lost through a tax sale but for defendants failure to take timely action to protest a tax deed.

Kirkliauskas v Vernor Moran LLC, 2016 IL App (1st) 152470-U

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

Recent Illinois Case: Rawal v. Newland and Newland LLP

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In this unpublished opinion, the First District affirmed the dismissal of a legal malpractice case for failure to plead proximate causation. The court held that the complaint did not adequately plead that the plaintiff would have succeeded in the underlying litigation but for the defendants’ malpractice because the allegations of success were conclusory and the plaintiff did not plead sufficient facts to prove the “case within a case.”

Rawal v. Newland and Newland LLP, 2016 IL App (1st) 151940-U

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

Recent Illinois Case: Terra Foundation for American Art v. DLA Piper LLP

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The First District affirmed the dismissal of a legal malpractice case on statute of repose grounds.  The court held that, in both transactional and litigation malpractice cases, the statute of repose begins to run when the event giving rise to the malpractice claim occurs, regardless of whether an injury has occurred or been recognized.  The court rejected the argument that the statute does not begin to run in transactional malpractice cases until the last act of representation.

Terra Foundation for American Art v. DLA Piper LLP, 2016 IL App (1st) 153285.

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

Recent Illinois Case: Ferris, Thompson and Zweig, Ltd. v. Esposito

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The Second District reversed the dismissal of a complaint asserting breach of a fee-splitting agreement between attorneys. The circuit court had dismissed the complaint because the agreement did not affirmatively state that both lawyers agreed to assume joint financial responsibility in representing the client.

The Second District analyzed the history of Rule of Professional Conduct 1.5(e) and concluded that the written agreement did not have to contain financial responsibility language to be enforceable.

Ferris, Thompson and Zweig, Ltd. v. Esposito, 2016 IL App (2d) 151148.

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

Recent Illinois Case: In re Estate of Zeid v. Hays and Aronberg Goldgehn Davis & Garmisa

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In this unpublished opinion, the First District analyzes several malpractice claims to determine whether they were properly dismissed as time barred.

For the most part, the analysis turned on whether the various claims related back to a timely filed complaint. In turn, that analysis turned on whether the various claims did or did not arise out of the same transaction as the timely complaint.

In re Estate of Zeid v. Hays and Aronberg Goldgehn Davis & Garmisa, 2016 IL App (1st) 153275-U.

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

Recent Illinois Case: White v. Richert

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The Northern District of Illinois refused to dismiss a claim on the basis of a release given by a client to her lawyer because the complaint alleged that the release was void because it resulted from the lawyer’s breach of her fiduciary duties.

The court also refused to dismiss on statute of limitations grounds because there were factual issues regarding when the statute began to run.

White v. Richert, 2016 WL 3582083.

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