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Plaintiff asserting claim for wrongful use of civil proceedings against attorney pursuant to 42 PA.C.S. 8351, et seq. (Dragonetti Act) required to file certificate of merit pursuant to PA. R. C. P. 1042.3.

January 1, 2010
Chizmar v. Borough of Trafford, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60205 (W.D. Pa. June 18, 2009).

Although not binding on Pennsylvania state courts, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania has opined that a plaintiff asserting a claim for wrongful use of civil proceedings against an attorney pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. 8351, et seq. ("Dragonetti Act") is required to file a certificate of merit pursuant to Pa. R. C. P. 1042.3. This holding is significant because Rule 1042.3 is unclear as to whether a plaintiff, who was not a client of the defendant attorney, but who nonetheless alleges that the attorney deviated from the appropriate standard of care to her detriment, must file a Certificate of Merit. Many attorneys are under the belief that Certificates of Merit, as to cases brought against attorney defendants, should only be required in legal malpractice actions. Chizmar is the first case to opine on this issue. This issue will likely be before the Superior Court in the near future.

Case Law Alert - 1st Qtr 2010

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Aaron E. Moore
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