December Florida Legal Malpractice Monthly

Abate until the underlying case is resolved
Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP v. Mariano, 279 So. 3d 181 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019)

Plaintiff Steven Mariano and his company are being sued in a federal court case in New York resulting from the sale of shares to certain hedge fund investors. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP represented Mariano and his company in connection with the transaction. Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP briefly represented Mariano and his company in the New York litigation. In 2017, Mariano sued Simpson and Kasowitz for legal malpractice in Broward County, Florida. Both firms moved to stay or abate the action arguing that Mariano’s claims were premature because the underlying New York litigation was still ongoing.   Read More

 

Unliquidated damages require jury trial
Yanofsky v. Isaacs, 277 So. 3d 132 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019)

Attorney Stuart Yanofsky was sued by his former client Andrew Isaacs resulting from alleged malpractice in a dissolution of marriage matter. Mr. Yanofsky represented himself in the appeal and it appears in the trial court proceeding as well. Yanofsky’s pleadings were struck after failing to respond to discovery requests and Yanofsky moved for summary judgment as to both liability and damages. The court reserved ruling and ordered Yanofsky to file a response to the summary judgment in fourteen days. He did not. Isaacs then moved for sanctions and sought a judgment in his favor.   Read More

 

If the cause of action accrual date is not in the complaint, you cannot obtain a dismissal based on statute of limitations
Enlow v. E.C. Scott Wright, P.A., 274 So. 3d 1192 (Fla. 5th DCA 2019)

The decision does not describe the facts of the malpractice case. The amended complaint was dismissed with prejudice on statute of limitations grounds. This decision was reversed because the accrual date of the legal malpractice case was outside the four corners of the complaint. The date of accrual was not included in the complaint, its attachments or incorporated by reference. Here, the accrual date was included in a document attached to the motion to dismiss. Relying upon data outside the four corners of the complaint to establish the statute of limitations was improper resulting in reversal.   Read More

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