Miller Barondess Secures $5.4 Million in Damages in Attorney Malpractice Case as Covered by the Daily Journal
As reported by the Daily Journal on March 2, 2020, Miller Barondess, LLP prevailed in a bench trial resulting in Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Melvin D. Sandvig ruling for plaintiff on all issues. The Miller Barondess trial team included partner Christopher Beatty, as well as Minh-Van Do and Scarlet Speakmoore.
In the lawsuit, plaintiff sued his former attorney for conflicts of interest relating to a transaction involving $20 million in real estate assets in dispute between plaintiff and his ex-wife, both of whom were represented by defendant.
Defendant argued that he represented the parties in different matters and testified there was no conflict. However, the judge stated in his ruling, “Those matters involved both of these parties and the properties they owned. And any outcome, whether they’d have to pay money or receive money, there would be a conflict because they no longer were speaking and getting along with each other.”
In addition, defendant sued plaintiff for hundreds of thousands of dollars in purportedly unpaid legal bills.
In an oral decision on February 27, 2020, the judge found in favor of plaintiff on causes of actions for breach of fiduciary duty, intentional misrepresentation and malpractice, and awarded plaintiff $5.4 million in damages. Plaintiff also prevailed on the claims brought against him for unpaid legal bills.
“This is a case of an attorney neglecting his duties to one client to benefit the interests of another client. Our client lost millions due to the defendant’s misconduct. The court recognized the injustice that had occurred and made the correct legal decision,” said Christopher Beatty, plaintiff’s lead trial counsel.