Successful defense of legal malpractice claim in Delaware.
We successfully defended a legal malpractice claim where the plaintiffs alleged their former attorneys caused them to sustain more than $1.3 million in damages. The plaintiffs, a collection of property developers, were named as defendants in a series of debt collection actions brought by their lender. Our attorney client represented them in those matters and sought to renegotiate the debt; however, they were unsuccessful, and the lender prevailed. In the legal malpractice matter, the plaintiffs sought to recover amounts they were required to reimburse the bank for its legal fees, their own expert witness fees and the legal fees they paid to our client. In a matter of first impression, the Delaware Superior Court held that a legal malpractice plaintiff who was a defendant in an underlying matter must demonstrate that it was caused to lose a judgment in order to prevail on its legal malpractice claim. It was insufficient to suggest that the attorneys should have settled the cases before the attorneys’ fees escalated. Because the plaintiffs could not demonstrate that they would have prevailed in the underlying cases, they could not prevail on their subsequent legal malpractice claim.