Florida Appeals Court Reverses Dismissal with Prejudice in Legal Malpractice Action

The Florida Court of Appeals has ruled that a lower court dismissal of a legal malpractice action was properly dismissed, but the dismissal should have been without prejudice, permitting the plaintiffs to re-file the action. A corporation had sued its attorneys for negligence and added a consultant as an additional plaintiff, on a third party beneficiary theory.

The law firm moved to dismiss because of deficiencies in the complaint and claiming that the consultant lacked standing. The Appeals Court upheld the lower court dismissal, finding that the complaint “lack[ed] minimal organization and coherence” and was so poorly written that it failed to meet minimum pleading requirements.

It also found that the complaint failed to sufficiently explain how the consultant had standing to be joined as a plaintiff. However, the Court also determined that the lower court erred in dismissing the complaint with prejudice, finding that the client should have been given a chance to cure the deficiencies in its complaint.

Source: KR Exchange v. Fuerst Humphrey and Ittleman.doc
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