The Massachusetts Appeals Court has reversed and remanded an Essex Superior Court legal malpractice case. The attorney represented the Plaintiff, who was injured while dismatling a Light Tower twelve miles offshore in New York harbor. The Plaintiff suffered a severe brain injury when a loading platform where he was working separated from the tower and fell to ocean floor about 120 feet down. The worker was encased in the platform until it hit a leg of the tower, rolled and released him. Workers on the surface reported that he was underwater for several minutes before resurfacing, unconscious, but breathing. Workers dove in the water and brought him onto a barge, where he was revived. Continue reading
JPMORGAN CHASE BANK AGREES TO PAY $4.65 MILLION TO SETTLE AIDING AND ABETTING LAWSUIT RELATED TO MILLENNIUM BANK PONZI SCHEME
The attorney represented the Plaintiffs, Edmund and Roberta Mansor (“Mansors”), in a case filed against Defendant, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. the attorney and co-counsel negotiated a settlement of this action that will provide $4.625 million in monetary relief to fewer than two hundred investors who purchased or otherwise acquired CDs from the promoters of the Millennium Ponzi scheme, during the five months between September 25, 2008 and March 9, 2009. This settlement marks the end of more than five years of hard-fought litigation, and has provided significant relief to the members of the settlement class.
MASSACHUSETTS APPEALS COURT REJECTS ATTORNEY’S ASSIGNED CLAIM AGAINST PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE BROKER
Boston Legal Malpractice the attorney represented the Appellant in this insurance coverage case, which settled with Liberty Mutual, the primary insurer following mediation, and then went forward with claims against the insurance agent, AIS Affinity Insurance (“AON”), who had procured policies of insurance for a Boston attorney. AON did not participate in the mediation.
The attorney had allegedly missed the statute of limitations in a claim brought by a surviving husband against tobacco companies, after his wife, a cigarette smoker since the age of thirteen (13), died of lung cancer. The husband sued the attorney, and ultimately settled with him, but only after the insurer maintained that he had no insurance for the claims under any of three (3) different potential policies of insurance, which named him as an insured.
Attorney Disbarred for Repeated Misuse of Client Funds and Failure to Cooperate with Disciplinary Investigation
The Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers has adopted the recommendation of a hearing committee, disbarring an attorney for misconduct, mostly having to do with misappropriation of client funds. The attorney, William P. Corbett defended the accusations and the ultimate sanction of disbarment, both factually and on the board’s interpretation of the law.
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Reinstates Legal Malpractice Claim of Vessel Owner
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has reversed a lower court ruling granting summary judgment to a law firm, saying the firm had failed to use all measures to combat an erroneous ruling by a French court. The firm, Dechart, had represented a seafood company, whose fishing boat was severely damaged, while undergoing repairs in Tahiti, which is a French protectorate. The French court had given the company an opportunity to submit additional evidence of its losses incurred, but the law firm failed to make the additional submissions, information which it had in its possession.
Massachusetts Attorney Suspended Indefinitely for Criminal Forgery and Misconduct
A Massachusetts attorney has been suspended indefinitely as the result of two claims of misconduct, including falsifying information to the FBI and forging real estate documents. Specifically, in April of 2006 and January of 2007, the attorney met with FBI agents and alleged that his bank had “misdirected” approximately $88,000 from his account. The attorney furnished several documents to the FBI, which were found to have been fabricated. The attorney pleaded guilty to criminal charges for this misconduct on October 29, 2007, and was sentenced to two years probation, which he failed to disclose to bar counsel, as required under S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 12(8) and Mass. R. Prof. Conduct 8.4.
ATLANTA-BASED PRIVATE EQUITY FIRM SUES LEGAL COUNSEL, ALSTON & BIRD LLP.
MSouth Equity Partners, an Atlanta-based private equity investment firm, has sued the legal firm, Alston & Bird LLP (“A&B”), in Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta, GA, seeking to reclaim more than $7.6 million paid in federal and state taxes. The plaintiffs allege that lawyers from A&B gave improper legal advice informing the client that the IRS would not challenge a proposed merger between a controlled company and another investment firm as a tax avoidance scheme.
The complaint contained affidavits from (1) the former chair of the tax section of the Atlanta Bar Association and the State Bar of Georgia, and (2) a professor of legal ethics from Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law, which asserted that the advice given by A&B, and its failure to recognize or admit the mistake, constituted legal malpractice.
LEGAL MALPRACTICE SETTLEMENT IMPENDING IN PORTSMOUTH NEW HAMPSHIRE INHERITANCE CASE
Judicial Referee and retired Judge, Gary Cassavechia, has imposed a March 21, 2017 deadline for the beneficiaries of the late Geraldine Webber to reach a settlement in a legal malpractice suit with Webber’s former attorney, Gary Holmes. Continue reading
SOUTH CAROLINA SUPREME COURT CHANGES LAW ON DEADLINE FOR FILING LEGAL MALPRACTICE CLAIMS
The South Carolina Supreme Court adopted a new rule regarding the running of the statute of limitations in legal malpractice claims. In Stokes-Craven Holding Corp. v. Robinson, Op. No. 27572 (S.C. Sup. Ct. May 25, 2016), Plaintiff brought a legal malpractice claim against Attorney Scott L. Robinson, a partner at Johnson, MacKenzie and Robinson, LLC, related to an unsuccessful automobile fraud case. The malpractice claim had been filed four (4) months after a final appeal came down. The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendant attorneys because the filing was outside the three-year statute of limitations.
Massachusetts Attorney Disbarred for Multiple Violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct
A Massachusetts attorney has been disbarred for engaging in activities which created conflicts of interest and for misusing client funds. The violations included (1) using client funds to purchase annuities from a company where the attorney was an agent and received a commission on the sale, (2) improperly cashing out existing annuities, which resulted in charges to the ward, (3) charging excessive fees to a guardianship estate, and (4) intentionally misusing over $10,000 of estate funds in another guardianship.
In April, 2016, the attorney submitted an affidavit of resignation admitting to violations of the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct between 2007 and 2014. In June, 2016, the Board of Bar Overseers recommended acceptance of the affidavit and disbarment. The Supreme Judicial Court then adopted the recommendation and entered a judgment of disbarment effective immediately.