Third Party

Swervo Entertainment Group, LLC v. Mensch

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The District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed in part and refused to dismiss portions of a complaint against an attorney.   The attorney allegedly agreed to hold an advance deposit in escrow and release it if the attorney’s client and the depositor did not reach an agreement.    An agreement was not reached, but the attorney did not release the funds allegedly deposited in escrow.   The court held that the plaintiff stated a claim for fraud (the attorney allegedly never intended to return the funds) and breach of the escrow agreement.   The court further held that the plaintiff’s claim for negligence was barred by the Moorman doctrine, its claim for breach of fiduciary duty was duplicative of the claim for breach of the escrow agreement, its quasi-contract claim was barred by the existence of an actual contract and its claim for attorneys’ fees was barred by the “American rule” barring attorneys’ fees in ordinary litigation.

Swervo Entertainment Group v. Mensch

Recent Illinois Case: First American Title Insurance Co. v. Dundee Reger LLC v. Hallam

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The Northern District of Illinois addressed third-party claims against a law firm asserting legal malpractice and, in the alternative, breach of contract and promissory estoppel.  The third-party defendant moved to dismiss the breach of contract and promissory estoppel claims as duplicative of the legal malpractice claim.  The court held that, under Illinois law, duplicative breach of fiduciary duty claims should be dismissed but breach of contract claims, even if duplicative, may be plead in the alternative.  The motion to dismiss was denied.

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

First American Title Insurance Co. v. Dundee Reger, LLC et al. v. Peter G. Hallam, 2016 WL 1359374

Recent Illinois Case: Elling v. Hauck

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The Court applies Illinois choice of law and concludes that Wisconsin law governs the third party malpractice claim. The claim is dismissed because Wisconsin requires privity.

Elling v. Hauck, 2015 WL 5401653

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

Recent Illinois Case: Schacht v. Galvin

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In this recent case, the First District affirmed the dismissal of a malpractice claim brought by a non-client against a lawyer. Despite the fact that the lawyer and his client agreed to engage in “collaborative divorce,” the primary purpose of the attorney-client relationship was to benefit the non-client.

Schacht v. Galvin, 2015 IL App. (1st) 133427-U

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

Recent Illinois Case: Workforce Solutions v. Pettinger

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The following recent case affirmed dismissal of a fraud claim that a party filed against the opposing counsel in a lawsuit:

Workforce Solutions v. Pettinger, 2015 IL App (1st) 121265-U.

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

Byron Chamber of Commerce, Inc. v. Long, 92 Ill. App. 3d 864, 415 N.E.2d 1361 (2d Dist. 1981)

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Byron Chamber of Commerce, Inc. v. Long, 92 Ill. App. 3d 864, 415 N.E.2d 1361 (2d Dist. 1981) (test is whether attorney and client intend for third party to benefit from services)

Lis, In re Estate of, 365 Ill. App. 3d 1, 847 N.E.2d 879 (1st Dist. 2006)

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Lis, In re Estate of, 365 Ill. App. 3d 1, 847 N.E.2d 879 (1st Dist. 2006)