DBMS represented the defendant attorney in the first trial, in which plaintiff alleged that the defendant committed legal malpractice and breached his fiduciary duty in the drafting and administration of certain trust documents.
Defense successfully argued that the documents had been drafted consistent with the deceased mother’s wishes, and that handling of her trust and estate affairs had been appropriate.
At the time of trial, plaintiff requested just under $700,000 in damages. A verdict was entered for the defense.
In the appeal, the First District affirmed the bench verdict for the attorney based both upon a de novo review of the trust documents and plaintiff's failure to establish that any duties were breached, as well as the lack of evidence that the attorney's actions caused plaintiff damage.