Standard of Care

When an attorney deviates from the applicable standard of care and causes damage by doing so, malpractice litigation may be warranted.

In a recent case before the US Court of Appeals, Eight Circuit, individuals from Minnesota appealed a ruling dismissing their claims against a Missouri attorney and his law firm.  The Minnesota Plaintiffs initially sued the Missouri attorney and his firm for breach of fiduciary duty, collusion, and fraud.  The underlying facts of the case involved a complex operation of LLCs, individuals, and the investment into a Minnesota Holiday Inn Express. 

The Plaintiffs/Appellants sued the Missouri attorney after operating documents provided conflicting ownership information.  The conflicting information became a problem when the Plaintiffs tried to take control of the bank accounts associated with the LLCs at issue when they suspected other LLC owners were mishandling the funds.  Due to the conflicting documents and confusion they caused, the Plaintiffs claimed they were harmed as they could not gain control of the accounts.

For their malpractice suit, the Plaintiffs were represented by a firm which, according to the trial court and the Eight Circuit, failed to file the comply with Minnesota’s expert affidavit statue as to at least one of the claims. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 544.42.  Due to this failure, the Eight Circuit upheld the trial courts granting of summary judgment against the Plaintiffs/Appellants as to the Plaintiff’s Count II.  The Eight Circuit also upheld the summary judgment on the other counts.

Attorneys often provide valuable work upon which their clients rely.  They make assertions, promises, and engage in all manner of representation.  While mistakes are made that do not rise to the level of malpractice even though they may cause damage, some errors are made that go beyond the threshold of a mistake and enter the territory of negligence or deviation from the standard of care. 

If you believe your legal representative has provided representation which was negligent and which caused significant damages, contact our firm to discuss the matter further.