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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by quincy View Post
    No, LdiJ. This is wrong. And that is what I was trying to correct in your earlier post.

    Attorneys can in fact be sued by a non-client for malpractice.

    It used to be that attorneys were protected from claims filed against them by non-clients, thanks to the doctrine of privity. A privity of contract is a relationship between the parties to a contract that allows them to sue each other but prevents a third party from doing so.

    This protection from suit by a third-party is no longer the case in Illinois or in many other states. Whether a malpractice claim can be filed against an attorney by a non-client can depend on if the attorney owed a duty of care to the non-client.

    From Pelham v. Griesheimer, 440 NE 2d 96, Ill. Sup. Ct. 1982, the Court said: "We consider that privity is not an indispensable prerequisite to establishing a duty of care between a nonclient and an attorney in a suit for legal malpractice ... The trend in tort law has been to abolish privity of contract (Rozny v. Marmul (1969), 43 Ill. 2d 54) as a prerequisite to establishing a duty."

    See also: Greycas, Inc. v. Proud, 826 F. 2d 1560, Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 1987, where the Court said that, in Pelham: "[T]he Supreme Court of Illinois discarded the old common law requirement of privity of contract for professional malpractice; so now it is possible for someone who is not the lawyer's (or other professional's) client to sue him for malpractice."

    Is what has been described here likely to support a malpractice suit against the ex-wife's attorney? I have no idea. It depends on far more facts than we have been given. It is probably unlikely ... but I would not want to rule out the possibility without knowing more.
    Never can find that white flag when needed. Thanks Q.


  2. #17
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    Mar 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by quincy View Post
    I think that there is not nearly enough information given to give any definitive answer.
    Ok. I would hope the OP does not spend a lot on attorneys to determine this.

    Clearly a statement like "malpractice can only be committed against an actual client" is wrong. And saying that "the only thing he could possibly do is report this to the bar as an ethics violation" is assuming facts that we have not been given.
    Agreed. In fact, when thinking of it, I believe there was a case long ago in my state in a divorce where the parties agreed to allow one side's attorney to write up the divorce decree and did it incorrectly. I haven't found the case so don't know the facts, but there was a lawsuit for malpractice and he lost. (The attorney.)

    Given what you bolded, how do we know that the proceeds from the sale of the house were not in some way instrumental in the parties forming an agreement? How do we know that mofa88 was not influenced by his ex-wife and her attorney into agreeing to an "equity-in-house in exchange for other property" deal, where the judgment lien would have played a role? We don't.
    That is the point of the adversarial system.

    Seek an attorney mofa88. Let us know what he says. Don't spend a lot in finding out.


  3. #18
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    Jan 2007
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    Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
    Ok. I would hope the OP does not spend a lot on attorneys to determine this.

    Agreed. In fact, when thinking of it, I believe there was a case long ago in my state in a divorce where the parties agreed to allow one side's attorney to write up the divorce decree and did it incorrectly. I haven't found the case so don't know the facts, but there was a lawsuit for malpractice and he lost. (The attorney.)

    That is the point of the adversarial system.

    Seek an attorney mofa88. Let us know what he says. Don't spend a lot in finding out.
    I think suggesting that mofa88 seek out a personal review of all facts from an attorney in his area is the best recommendation we can make.


  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by quincy View Post
    I think suggesting that mofa88 seek out a personal review of all facts from an attorney in his area is the best recommendation we can make.
    Isn't it always the best recommendation we can make?


  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
    Isn't it always the best recommendation we can make?
    Perhaps generally ... but a few past posters come to mind where the best recommendation for them was to seek mental health attention.


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