Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Settlement is not a bar to malpractice claim
Suppose a lawyer prepares a prenuptial agreement for a groom shortly before the wedding. then, after a few years of marriage, the wife files for divorce. When the husband's new lawyer tells him that there are serious doubts about the enforceability of the agreement, the husband enters into a settlement with his wife for "fear[ that the original agreement] would not be upheld..." The husband then sues the lawyer who had drafted the agreement for malpractice. Should the claim be recognized? The trial court dismissed the legal malpractice action on grounds of public policy and judicial estoppel but the New Hampshire Supreme Court reversed, holding that the divorce settlement did not bar the malpractice action on either grounds. Posted by Mike Frisch at Legal Profession Blog.