Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Legal Malpractice

Put Not Your Trust in Nigerian Princes By Karen Erger February 2014 Column, Page 100 A recent iteration of the Nigerian email scam offers lessons for lawyers.
The Res Judicata Defense to Legal Malpractice Claims By Zachary J. Freeman February 2014 Article, Page 80 Res judicata and collateral estoppel can be powerful defenses in litigation malpractice cases, even when the lawyer was not a party to the underlying action. But they aren't without limitations.
Emergency Procedures for Malpractice Survival By Karen Erger December 2013 Column, Page 644 Prepare for the unlikely event of malpractice - alleged or real.
Should Derivative Legal Malpractice Be Allowed in Illinois? By Timothy J. Miller February 2013 Article, Page 96 Should shareholders who have no relationship with a corporation's lawyer be able to bring a legal malpractice suit on behalf of the entity? This author says "no."
Raising the Ante(Diluvian) By Karen Erger February 2012 Column, Page 108 More about the pros and cons of e-calendars.
Client service 101 By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2011 Lawpulse, Page 604 A seasoned family law practitioner explains how to avoid common mistakes lawyers make in working with clients.
Hey, Kids, Let’s Start a Law Firm By Karen Erger December 2011 Column, Page 640 An interview with a lawyer who did just that.
Court finds subject matter jurisdiction in legal malpractice suit arising out of patent infringement claim September 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 440 An Illinois Appellate Court found that a prior court's resolution of an issue arising under federal patent law was sufficient to allow a state court to claim subject matter jurisdiction where there were no other remaining issues arising under federal patent law.
Statute of repose bars legal malpractice claim By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2011 Lawpulse, Page 382 A plaintiff who sued a lawyer for malpractice in the preparation of a quitclaim deed was too late because any injury occurred when the deed was prepared, not later when her husband died.
Avoiding Legal Malpractice After Union Planters By Matthew S. Dionne June 2011 Article, Page 306 In Union Planters, the Illinois Appellate Court held that a legal malpractice plaintiff need not prove a "case-within-a-case" in an action arising out of transaction-based legal malpractice.  
Spooky Tales from the Malpractice Coverage Campfire By Karen Erger February 2011 Column, Page 104 Don't let exclusions in your malpractice coverage give you a scary surprise.
Federal courts have jurisdiction over legal malpractice claims in patent infringement cases January 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 On November 10, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County finding, in a legal malpractice suit, that the contingent fee arrangement between the parties was not void, and that jurisdiction over the malpractice claim rested exclusively with the federal courts. 
Malpractice Top 40 By Karen Erger August 2009 Column, Page 424 A review of chart-topping lawyer errors.
Does the “51-Percent Rule” Apply to Legal Malpractice Actions? By James W. Davidson June 2009 Article, Page 302 Is recovery for legal malpractice barred if the plantiff-client is more than 50 percent to blame? Here's the case for and against.
Lawyers, Guns and Money: Pop Songs and Legal Ethics By Karen Erger April 2009 Column, Page 208 A musical lesson in malpractice prevention.
Only actual damages are recoverable under Breach of Promise Act November 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 554 On August 20, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County finding that the defendant had committed legal malpractice.
Bacon-Saving Support Staff By Karen Erger October 2008 Column, Page 536 Don't think your support staff can make or break you? Think again.
Cover Me: Documentation Is More Than CYA By Karen Erger June 2008 Column, Page 316 Thoughtful domumentation promotes good communication and good decisions.
Five Secrets Not to Keep from Your Insurer By Karen Erger April 2008 Column, Page 216 Don't risk losing valuable coverage by being less than forthcoming with your insurer.
Judicial estoppel does not protect against malpractice November 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 576 On August 17, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County dismissing the plaintiff's legal malpractice action pursuant to Illinois Code of Civil Procedure section 2-619 based on the theory of judicial estoppel. 
Underlying defendant’s solvency is required element of plaintiff’s legal malpractice action October 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 516 On July 27, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed the order of the Circuit Court of Cook County granting defendant Eric Ferleger's motion to dismiss pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-615. 
Correspondence from Our Readers May 2007 Column, Page 226 Report ARDC letters to your malpractice carrier
Heed the Warning of the “Bad Feeling” By Karen Erger April 2007 Column, Page 212 Watch for warning signs that presage problem clients.
A Little Dabbling’ll Do Ya In By Karen Erger February 2007 Column, Page 106 Ignorance of the law is no excuse, especially for lawyers.
Fraudulent concealment keeps legal malpractice defendants on the hook By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2006 Lawpulse, Page 578 A tortfeaser who fraudulently conceals a legal malpractice cause of action can be sued even after the statute of repose has run, the supreme court held last month. 
Illinois supremes: legal malpractice plaintiffs can’t recover lost punitives By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2006 Lawpulse, Page 458 Successful legal malpractice plaintiffs may not recover punitive damages they would have once but for the defendant lawyers' malpractice, the high court ruled earlier this summer.
Legal malpractice claims are not valid unless plaintiff suffered actual monetary damages December 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 622 On September 22, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District.
A jumbo legal malpractice case goes to the high court By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2005 Lawpulse, Page 162 All eyes are on the Tri-G legal malpractice case, where the appellate court ruled for the plaintiff to the tune of $2.3 million.
Pure Heart, Commingled Funds By Karen Erger April 2005 Column, Page 210 Your funds and your clients' don't mix. Ever.
Avoiding the Cliff-Hanger Ending By Karen Erger February 2005 Column, Page 96 Beware: dissolving law firm can end up sans malpractice coverage.