Monday, August 9, 2021

Withdrawal Negated Liability

The Tennessee Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of summary judgment to the defendant in a legal malpractice case where the law firm had withdrawn before the statute of limitations had expired

In this legal malpractice action, the trial court determined that any duty owed by the defendant law firm to the plaintiff ceased when the law firm undisputedly terminated its representation of the plaintiff more than five months prior to expiration of the statute of limitations applicable to the plaintiff’s underlying claim. The court found that the plaintiff had ample time within which to hire new counsel before the statute of limitations would have run on his personal injury claim. The court also found that the plaintiff had failed, within that timeframe, to obtain new counsel or inquire about the status of his claim such that any damages he suffered were due to his own inaction. The court accordingly granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant law firm. The plaintiff has appealed. Discerning no reversible error, we affirm.

The law firm withdrew after the plaintiff failed to sign documents to effectuate a settlement. (Mike Frisch)

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