Abercrombie Group, LLC v. Clark, Court of Appeals of Texas, Second District 2023. The company sued its law firm alleging that the lawyers failed to bring suit in a timely fashion. The lawsuit concerned a promissory note. The plaintiff would be required to prove that had the lawyer acted differently the client would have won the underlying case. Plaintiff claimed that the lawyer did not sue on time so that it was forced to settle its claim on a promissory note for less than it was worth. The key here is that the plaintiff has to prove that it would have won the underlying case on the promissory note. If plaintiff had no case, the loss is not caused by the law firm
First, a general discussion of the case within a case requirement.
The “case within a case” requirement, also known as the “trial-within-a-trial” or “suit-within-a-suit,” is a fundamental element in a legal malpractice case. Legal malpractice occurs when an attorney fails to provide competent and diligent representation to a client, and this failure results in harm to the client. To successfully bring a legal malpractice claim, the plaintiff (the former client) generally needs to demonstrate the following elements: