Legal Malpractice Defense Lawyers Obtain Appeals Court DecisionJune 6, 2012
Edward S. Cheng and Debra Squires-Lee, co-chairs of the firm’s professional liability practice group, obtained a decision from the Appeals Court affirming the dismissal of all claims against their client, a solo practitioner. The defendant, a trusts and estate lawyer, was sued by the intended beneficiary of a will who claimed the lawyer improperly amended the testator’s will to leave the beneficiary a condominium. Ed and Debra successfully argued to the Superior Court on a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings that the lawyer owed no duty to the intended beneficiary, because there was no express or implied attorney client relationship with her, and that, absent a written contract that would satisfy the statute of frauds, the plaintiff could not assert contractual claims against the lawyer. In a Rule 1:28 decision issued on June 1, the Appeals Court affirmed.