FisherBroyles doesn’t have to face a legal malpractice action seeking to hold the law firm liable for $1.3 million, after a Michigan appeals court affirmed that the law firm’s conduct didn’t cause an unfavorable award in another case.
Deven Patel, who was the owner of “closed-door” nursing home VPH Pharmacy Inc., hired FisherBroyles to file a lawsuit against Vincent Howard, the founder and original owner of VPH. That suit was filed the day before Patel was supposed to pay a balloon payment in accordance with an agreement with Howard, court records show.
In that suit, the trial court entered judgment in Howard’s favor for $1,278,310.55.
Patel then filed a legal malpractice action against FisherBroyles and Frank & Frank PLLC, which appeared as co-counsel for Patel and VPH. Patel alleged that the defendants’ failure to respond to a motion or attend a hearing were direct and proximate causes of the seven-figure judgment in the underlying case.
The trial court granted summary judgment for FirsherBroyles, rejecting Patel’s causation arguments. The Court of Appeals of Michigan affirmed those findings Nov. 22, holding that Patel hadn’t shown FisherBroyles caused the judgment against him, given Patelhad failed to make the balloon payment.
As for Frank & Frank, the appeals court held that its representation was limited to the settlement negotiations and didn’t commit to represent Patel in the underlying litigation.
FisherBroyles is represented by Lipson Neilson PC. Patel is represented by Bendure & Thomas. The Frank firm is represented by Collins Einhorn Farrell PC.
The case is Patel v. Fisherbroyles LLP, Mich. Ct. App., No. 357092, 11/22/22.