Legal Malpractice Lawsuit Dismissed
Won dismissal of a legal malpractice lawsuit based on an underlying civil rights and RICO case. The owner of a restaurant claimed that, after he gave a smaller discount than usual to an inspector for the Department of Agriculture, she retaliated by using her official powers to shut down the restaurant and drive it out of business. After that case was dismissed on summary judgment, the plaintiff and his corporation sued each of his lawyers for malpractice in the form of negligence and breach of contract. In a nine-page opinion, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas agreed with the defense that the plaintiff's negligence claim was barred on its face by the statute of limitations; the individual plaintiff could not have prevailed on the underlying RICO claim because there were no predicate acts; the individual plaintiff suffered no harm personally; and the corporation could not sustain a breach of contract action itself because the defendant lawyer never represented the corporation. Thus, the court granted the defense's preliminary objections and dismissed the claims with prejudice.