Ty Brown Wins Defense Verdict in Legal Malpractice Trial
Ty Brown won a defense verdict in a legal malpractice case pending in Fulton County, Georgia. Plaintiff, a condo association, filed suit against Defendants for alleged negligent handling of a complex construction liability case. The trial began August 13, 2012 and lasted 9 days. In closing, Plaintiff requested over $3,000,000 in damages. The jury returned a defense verdict about an hour after receiving the final evidence and verdict form.
Plaintiff’s primarily allegation was that his former counsel failed to timely file a lawsuit against the architect and developer within the statute of limitations. The liability defense was based on the fact that the attorney was told by the president of the condo association that the association would not file a lawsuit.
This was the classic case-within-the-case trial. The recent Supreme Court holding of Leibel, et al. v. Johnson affected the evidence that was admitted at trial. The length of trial was dictated primarily by the expert witnesses for the construction defect issues.
The jury was given a verdict form with a number of special interrogatories. The first question asked the jury whether the attorney Defendants breached any standard of care owed to the association. The jury answered that question “NO.” Thus, the verdict was a finding that HPY’s clients had done nothing wrong and had not acted negligently. The verdict was a complete exoneration of Defendants and their legal work on behalf of the association.