Plaintiff v. Defendant Commercial Litigator

  • Illinois Appellate Court, First District, 2004 Ill. App. LEXIS 1394 (1st Dist. 2004)
    Client: Defendant Commercial Litigator
    Outcome: Dismissal in favor of Defendant Affirmed

Synopsis:

In a legal malpractice case addressing an issue of first impression under the prematurity doctrine, the issue was whether the business owner's alleged legal malpractice claim had accrued before the six-year statute of repose had expired.

Plaintiff argued that it had, and that the firm's client, a commercial litigator, erred by not suing the transactional lawyer by way of a third-party complaint for implied indemnity.

Dismissal of the complaint was obtained numerous times in the trial court, on the basis that no implied indemnity claim was available, that no damages existed before the expiration of the repose period so no direct action against the transactional lawyer existed, and that the firm's client was under no duty to secure a tolling agreement from the transactional lawyer.

The First District affirmed the trial court's dismissal orders and held that no claim for implied indemnity existed.

The First District further held that the business owner's purported malpractice claim was barred by the statute of repose before it accrued.