Decision due this year on $20 million legal malpractice fine threat to Chicago law firm. The claim dates back to 1991. Extraordinary.
If the court decides against the firm, Barack Ferrazzono Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP, the 24 partners named on the lawsuit could also be involved in making substantial payments. The case relates to the decision of the firm not to represent a potential client, Morton Goldfine, who claimed that he had lost nearly US$5m in a securities fraud. But Mr Goldfine had asked the firm to protect his interests for six months under a ‘blue sky law’ which would have involved notifying the broker Shearson Lehman Bros of a possible action against them. The law firm did not make such a notification within the six months period. Barack Ferrazzano has been successfully sued by Mr Goldfine. The Supreme Court is to decide the total amount, how far it dates back and how to calculate the interest charged and other ingredients in the damages claim. A friend of the court brief from the Illinois State and Chicago bar association states that the ‘well-being’ of lawyers is threatened by ‘the long pendency of these types of claims. Thanks to Neasa MacErlean for her post on chicagobusiness. Original article appeared in Crains. Ball & Evans and Ball & Evans legal malpractice attorneys.