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Spitzzeri, Margulis Secure Dismissal in Heated Legal Malpractice Dispute

March 4, 2019

Johnson & Bell Shareholders, Joseph F. Spitzzeri and Rory L. Margulis, secured dismissal of a legal malpractice lawsuit filed against their client as a result of post-decree divorce litigation.  In this legal malpractice dispute, Johnson & Bell’s client represented the plaintiff in post-decree litigation, trying to resolve disputes after the divorce had been granted. The defense team’s client eventually had to sue the plaintiff to recover its legal fees for handling the post-decree litigation. While the fee petition was pending, the plaintiff filed a malpractice claim against Johnson & Bell’s client. He also filed separate malpractice cases against the attorneys who represented him in his divorce proceedings. Those proceedings are still pending.  Ultimately, the fee petition was ruled upon and Johnson & Bell’s client was awarded all of the fees it was seeking. In addition, defense argued that the fee petition litigation should be termed a final judgment with no opportunity for the plaintiff to dispute or otherwise pursue the issue any further.  The defense team argued that the malpractice dispute against their client should be dismissed based upon res judicata.  The court agreed with these lines of reasoning and dismissed the case in its entirety.

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