In this case study, we examine a situation in which an individual sought legal advice for an appeal before a state Supreme Court. The appeal was centered on a real estate property appraised at $4 million.
The attorney failed to file the necessary brief by the deadline, resulting in the dismissal of the appeal. This alleged legal malpractice led to substantial economic damages for the plaintiff.
To determine the extent of damages, an expert with expertise in real estate law and appellate procedures was consulted.
Questions to the Attorney expert and their responses
Can you describe your experience in real estate litigation, specifically those that have gone through appeal?
I have managed about 20 non-real estate cases through appeal. However, I do not have real estate litigation experience within the state in district court or on appeal. Nonetheless, I have handled approximately five cases within the state where I represented plaintiffs in legal malpractice claims, one of which went through appeal.
What information would you need to review to assess malpractice and quantify damages?
To conduct a comprehensive evaluation of this case, I would require access to several key documents. These include the underlying docket and selected documents from it, as well as the full appellate record or lack thereof.
Additionally, I would need to examine the engagement letter between the client and their appellate attorney. Any expert reports produced by either party during the initial action would also benefit my assessment. If depositions were taken from any parties involved in the original lawsuit, these would be crucial for my review.
About the expert
This qualified expert has 10 years of experience as a licensed attorney. He earned his BS in political science and public administration from Carroll College followed by a JD from the University of Montana. Formerly, he served as a law clerk at Montana Ninth Judicial District Court and then associate attorney at St. Peter Law Offices, P.C. Currently, he serves as a partner at a civil litigation and complex litigation practice in Montana.