Edward S. Cheng quoted in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly on legal malpractice suit and a firm’s duty of care

May 6, 2022

Edward S. Cheng, partner in the firm’s Litigation Department, was quoted in the April 18th issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article “Rules of Engagement.” The article discussed allegations against law firm Goodwin that they failed to take reasonable measures to keep a client from being victimized by an overseas Ponzi scheme.

Read the full article in the April 18th digital edition (subscriber content).

 From the article:

Boston professional liability attorney Edward S. Cheng anticipates two issues in particular as being keys to the case against Goodwin. The first is the terms of Goodwin’s engagement letter with the client.

“The complaint here is basically that Goodwin Procter should have been responsible for all aspects of the deal, both the legal terms as well as business terms, [such as] whether the party on the other side of the table is legitimate,” the Sherin and Lodgen litigator says. “That’s beyond a law firm’s usual scope of engagement.”

Cheng also foresees a classic “battle of the experts” on the duty of lawyers facilitating deals such as the investment in accounts receivables at the center of the suit against Goodwin.

“[The issue will become] what is the usual custom and practice in this particular area of the law in terms of due diligence and certainly in terms of what arrangements need to be in place to secure the transaction,” Cheng says. “The only person who can answer that question is someone who does these types of deals and who can testify as to what the standard of care is.”