July 25th, 2022 by Rieders Travis in Legal Malpractice

Khalil v. Williams, 2022 Pa. LEXIS 1033 (S. Ct. July 20, 2022) (Todd, J.)  This case follows the Muhammad rule in that once a party settles a case, they cannot challenge their lawyer as being negligent in a subsequent action.  However, the court says there should be redress where a party is fraudulently induced to settle a case, which was the Muhammad Rule.  Only cases of fraud should be actionable, according to the court.  Here, the Commonwealth Court concluded that by signing a release with Travelers, appellant had also released her counterclaims against Pier 3 and Wentworth in a case involving fees.  A malpractice case followed.  Allegedly, the lawyer repeatedly and erroneously advised appellant that the Travelers release would not affect her counterclaim in the other case, the Fees Case.  It was also alleged that the lawyers fraudulently induced appellant into settling her lawsuit by discounting the rate.  “We do believe, however, there must be redress for the plaintiff who has been fraudulently induced into agreeing to settle.  It is not enough that the lawyer who negotiated the original settlement may have been negligent; rather, the party seeking to pursue…


May 9th, 2022 by Rieders Travis in Legal Malpractice

Garman v. Angino, 2020 Pa. Super. LEXIS 256 (March 30, 2020) (Bowes, J.)  Kent and Kelly Garman appealed from the May 30, 2018 order granting summary judgment in favor of Appellees Richard Angino, Esquire, ("Angino") and the law firm of Angino and Rovner (the "Law Firm"), and dismissing their complaint in this legal malpractice action. We conclude that the trial court erred in holding that res judicata, collateral estoppel, and the one recovery rule would have foreclosed the Garmans from recovering their verdict in the underlying medical malpractice action. Hence, we vacate the judgment and remand for further proceedings. The following facts are pertinent to our review. Angino and the Law Firm represented the Garmans in two medical malpractice actions. The first action ("Garman I") involved a claim for injuries sustained by Mrs. Garman when a sponge was left behind during her 1993 cesarean section ("C-section") performed by Sohael Raschid, M.D. at Chambersburg Hospital. Following the surgery, Mrs. Garman experienced abdominal pain that her doctors attributed to a uterine fibroid. During a myomectomy on September 18, 1997, a surgical procedure to remove the fibroid, the sponge was discovered in her left lower abdomen. An…


July 2nd, 2015 by Rieders Travis in Legal Malpractice

Silvagni v. Schorr, 113 A.3d 810 (Pa. Super. 2015).  This case was based upon an attorney malpractice where it is claimed by claimant that the attorney malpracticed in the handling of a workers' compensation claim.  The claimant said that the attorney gave him incorrect legal advice that ultimately led to a compromise and release.  The claimant said that but for the incorrect legal advice, he would not have agreed to the terms of the settlement.  Unless the workers' compensation claimant had specifically pled, and could prove, that the attorneys fraudulently induced him into signing the Compromise and Release Agreement, or he could prove that the attorney failed to explain the effect of that settlement, or that the settlement was somehow legally deficient, the former client is barred from maintaining an action in negligence against the lawyer.  It is clear that the lawyers were entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law.  There was no abuse of discretion in granting the attorneys summary judgment.

Brief Synopsis of Legal Malpractice Law

November 4th, 2013 by Rieders Travis in Legal Malpractice

A.  Malpractice by a criminal defense attorney If you believe your criminal defense attorney has malpracticed which resulted in an unjust conviction it is virtually impossible to pursue a claim against that attorney.  The Supreme Court essentially stated that you have to prove that you did not commit any of the unlawful acts for which you were charged or any lesser acts. In other words you have to prove that you are innocent. Of course if a jury already convicted you that may  virtually be impossible. Moreover, even if you could overcome this first hurdle the damages would then be limited to the amount spent on attorney's fees for the attorney who malpracticed.  In other words if it was court appointed counsel or the public defender's office that represented a criminal defendant those damages would obviously be zero.  Hence even if the criminal defense attorney malpracticed and you could prove your innocence, unless the defense attorney was privately retained and paid with your own money, you would not have suffered any damages and therefore have no claim. B.  Malpractice in civil cases In order to pursue a claim of legal…