Johnson & Bell Shareholders, Joseph R. Marconi and Victor J. Pioli, successfully defended a real estate law firm being sued for malpractice. The lawsuit stemmed from a real estate deal to buy the Tuckaway Golf Course in Crete, Illinois for $4 million. Our client represented the buyer of the property. On the day before the deal was to close, the acquirer of the golf course told our client that, as part of the transaction, they had negotiated an additional $250,000 note which was to be secured by a mortgage on a separate vacant lot in Frankfort, Illinois. It soon became apparent that the signatures necessary for the mortgage on the $250,000 note and mortgage could not be procured in time for the closing. Our client proceeded with the closing of the transaction after being given assurances by the seller that proper signatures on the $250,000 mortgage would be provided soon after the closing.
Our client followed up after the closing, but was unable to procure the necessary signatures and record the $250,000 mortgage. The property that was subject to the $250,000 mortgage was eventually sold pursuant to a tax sale and the buyer of the golf course was unable to collect on the $250,000 note and mortgage. The buyer then sued our client, seeking $1 million relating to lost profits associated with the property and other damages. The jury in the malpractice case returned a verdict awarding damages to the plaintiff of less than $1200.