Hartford Partner Jim Brawley and Patrick Day (of Counsel) won a judgment in favor the defendant in a legal malpractice case tried to the bench in the Federal District Court in Hartford.

Our lawyer client had represented the plaintiff in an underlying litigation against her financial advisor, who had lost $1.5 million of plaintiff’s money by investing it in a massive ponzi scheme. The claim against the financial advisor was settled for nuisance value because he had no assets and was judgment proof. The settlement agreement with the financial advisor had a carve-out provision that allowed the plaintiff to re-file the case against the financial advisor if a court determined that the financial advisor had made material misrepresentations in his financial statement upon which the settlement was based. The plaintiff re-filed her suit against the financial advisor in federal court alleging that he had made material misrepresentations about his assets in his financial statement. The plaintiff also sued our lawyer client alleging the lawyer committed malpractice by failing to discover these misrepresentations.

The court bifurcated the case and held that the plaintiff must first prove that there was a material misrepresentation before she could pursue the case. In a fifteen-page ruling, the court found that there were no material misrepresentations in the financial statement and entered judgment in favor of the financial advisor and our client.

Hartford associate Kyle Deskus assisted with the trial.