The Sandberg Phoenix professional liability team has extensive experience representing accountants, attorneys, architects and engineers, insurance agents and brokers, real estate brokers and a wide range of other professionals. These attorneys believe the best way to avoid a professional liability case is to learn from the past, and they write extensively about previous cases, current issues and relevant topics relating to a very important subject in the Professional Liability Blog.

Wyoming Court Sides with Minors in Striking Limitations on Medical Malpractice Claims

In 1976, the Wyoming legislature enacted two statutes that effectively required all persons, including minors, to bring a medical malpractice claim within two years of treatment. The statute of limitations governing medical malpractice claims by minors required suit to be brought by the minor’s eighth birthday or within two years of the alleged act, error,…

Tennessee court says defense counsel for medical entity can communicate ex parte with non-party treating physicians employed by entity, which has independent right to discuss patient treatment with its own employees

In Hall v. Crenshaw, 449 S.W.3d 463 (Tenn. App. 2014), a plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Johnson Clinic, among other defendants, alleging wrongful death arising out of treatment rendered to the plaintiff’s decedent. Plaintiff sought the depositions of two physicians employed by the Clinic who had treated decedent during the relevant timeframe but…

Withdraw! Withdraw! Withdraw! Redux

Attorneys can run afoul of the rules of professional conduct in a variety of ways. One of the most common ways is by ignoring a client’s matter. The Ohio Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline recently sanctioned an attorney for just that. On review, the Ohio Supreme Court then upheld the majority of the…

Withdraw! Withdraw! Withdraw! The Importance of Withdrawal in Legal Malpractice Actions

This legal malpractice action arose from an underlying suit a condo association (“Loftominium”) originally filed against a developer for defects in a building’s construction. Loftominium retained John Jacoby (“Jacoby”), McDonald Hopkins LLC (“McDonald”), and Nyhan, Bambrick Kinzie & Lowry, P.C. (“Nyhan”) as counsel in its suit against the developer. Jacoby originally represented Loftominium in its…

Attorneys’ Fees in Professional Malpractice Actions: A Developing Theory?

(NOTE: The analysis and views expressed by the author are his and are not necessarily those of Sandberg Phoenix or others at the firm.) Introduction In the legal malpractice context, Missouri has long recognized that one measure of damages “is the amount the plaintiff would have received but for the attorney’s conduct.” Estate of Bonifer…

Bernie Madoff Strikes Again: the Lasting Consequences of His Ponzi Scheme are Still Being Felt

The “Bernie Madoff Scandal” broke on December 11, 2008, when the FBI arrested the eponymous chairman of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (“BLMIS”), and charged him with one count of securities fraud. He later pled guilty to 11 counts of securities fraud. Seven years later, the effects of his Ponzi scheme, believed to be…

A Limit on Liability for Your Partner’s (Allegedly) Bad Behavior

Attorneys are well aware a law firm’s partner(s) can take actions that may result in liability for all partners of the firm. Limited liability partnerships (LLPs) may offer some additional protection in this area by precluding personal liability for the acts of another limited liability partner. In New Jersey, a recent case confirms that courts…

Rescue Me: Company Not Liable for Worker Injured in “Hot Bin” Explosion

In the recent case of Jentz v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., the Seventh Circuit held a property owner cannot be liable to a contractor invited on the property to redress an unsafe condition when the feared event occurs and causes injury. Jentz concerned an April 27, 2010 explosion at ConAgra’s grain bin in Chester, Illinois. ConAgra…

Sophisticated Clients Still Need Explanations

Attorneys’ clients come in as many varieties as people do – from any origin or background. They also come from any occupation. Sometimes a client’s occupation will not have any impact on the attorney’s communication with the client, such as when an attorney represents a teacher in a divorce (i.e., the attorney would not communicate…

Lewellen v. Franklin: Missouri Supreme Court Holds Statutory Cap on Punitive Damages Unconstitutional

On September 9, 2014, the Missouri Supreme Court unanimously struck down the State’s punitive damage cap in Lewellen v. Franklin, 2014 WL 4425202 (Mo. banc Sept. 9, 2014). The plaintiff in Lewellen was a 77-year-old widow with less than $1,000 of monthly income who contracted to purchase a vehicle with National Auto Sales North’s (“National”)…

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