Articles Posted in Professional Malpractice & Ethics

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Heartland Title Services, Inc. filed a petition in the circuit court of Jackson County alleging professional malpractice claims against Paul Hasty and Hasty and Associates, LLC (collectively, Hasty). Hasty filed a motion to dismiss Heartland’s professional malpractice claim for lack of venue, arguing that the tort injury alleged occurred outside Missouri. The circuit court dismissed the count for lack of venue. Heartland sought relief in the Supreme Court with this original proceeding in mandamus. The Supreme Court issued a preliminary writ and then made permanent the preliminary writ, holding that venue was proper in any county in Missouri, including Jackson County. View "State ex rel. Heartland Title Services, Inc. v. Honorable Kevin D. Harrell" on Justia Law

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Respondent filed a medical negligence lawsuit alleging that Appellants negligently failed to timely drain Respondent’s prostate abscess, causing the abscess to rupture. After a trial, the jury returned a verdict in Respondent’s favor. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Appellants did not preserve for review their argument that the trial court erred in admitting into evidence certain videotaped deposition testimony; (2) the trial court did not err in failing to find that the verdict was excessive due to jury passion and prejudice or because it exceeded fair and reasonable compensation for Respondent’s injuries; and (3) the Court will not address Appellants’ constitutional challenge to Mo. Rev. Stat. 538.300, which prohibits defendants in medical negligence cases from seeking remittitur, because the statutory prohibition in section 538.300 was not implicated in this case. View "Stewart v. Partamian" on Justia Law

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Client retained Attorney to handle various legal claims pertaining to the management of a trust. Attorney later came to represent Client and his wife in matters of their own estate planning and administration. Upon Attorney’s advice, Client made loans to both the Attorney’s law firm and to a business from which Attorney received a commission for the referral. Attorney did not make a written disclosure or advise Client to seek independent legal advice regarding these transactions. The loans were never repaid. Client filed a malpractice action against Attorney for breach of fiduciary duty. Judgment was entered in favor of Client. Client subsequently filed an equitable garnishment action against Attorney’s malpractice insurer (Insurer) seeking to recover the judgment under the policy. The trial court granted summary judgment for Insurer, concluding that coverage was excluded under the policy’s “legal representative of investors” exclusionary clause. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, under the facts of this case, the trial court was correct in holding that the exclusionary clause unambiguously excluded coverage for Attorney’s injurious acts and omissions. View "Taylor v. Bar Plan Mut. Ins. Co." on Justia Law

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Husch Blackwell Sanders, LLP represented Brian Nail in a dispute with his former employer over Nail’s stock options. Husch Blackwell negotiated a settlement that extended Nail’s option period, but Nail was prevented from obtaining the stock due to complications. Nail subsequently filed a legal malpractice suit against Husch Blackwell, arguing that the law firm negligently advised him regarding his remedies and negligently drafted the settlement agreement. The trial court entered judgment in favor of Husch Blackwell. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Nail failed to prove that Husch Blackwell’s alleged negligence caused his claimed damages. View "Nail v. Husch Blackwell Sanders, LLP" on Justia Law