Publications

Articles on Legal Malpractice

Estate planners vulnerable to dormant legal malpractice claims

By Matthew Hector
April
2017
LawPulse
Page 22
There's a six-year statute of repose for legal malpractice - unless the alleged act or omission isn't discovered until the client dies. Estate planning lawyers want more protection.

Breach of contract claim starts timer for legal malpractice claim

January
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
Filing a breach of contract claim triggers the limitations period for a legal malpractice claim against the attorney who assisted in drafting the contract.

Legal Malpractice Liability to Third Parties

By Anne M. Skrodzki and Shane T. Devins
January
2016
Article
Page 38
Illinois courts have gradually allowed more nonclients to bring legal malpractice claims, expanding potential liability for Illinois practitioners.

How to Avoid Estate Planning Malpractice Claims

By Zachary J. Freeman, Thomas M. Staunton, and Arthur W. Friedman
December
2015
Article
Page 32
A look at the unique malpractice risks - including the third-party beneficiary rule and the extended statute of repose - faced by estate planning lawyers.

Lawyer sues after his YouTube post of client leads to suspension

By Janan Hanna
May
2014
LawPulse
Page 214
A lawyer who was disciplined for posting a YouTube video of police buying drugs from his client has filed a federal lawsuit challenging his suspension.

Legal malpractice claims by clients and non-clients are subject to the same repose period

May
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 220
On February 21, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the time limits for claims against attorneys arising out of the performance of professional services apply to actions by non-clients, resolving a split among the districts of the appellate court.

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.

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