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Illinois Appellate Court Rules Claim Against Corporate Lawyers Is Time-Barred

This is another decision affirming, as time-barred, a legal malpractice case. Plaintiffs alleged that they hired Vedder Price to represent them in a commercial real estate transaction in 2003. Plaintiffs signed personal guarantees. The plaintiffs alleged that the lawyer defendants failed to advise them that one of other parties to the venture had signed a limited version of the personal guarantee. Plaintiffs claimed that had they known of the limited version of the guarantee they would not have signed the loan documents. Plaintiffs also alleged that the lawyer defendants failed to notify them that a transfer of a 10% interest in the project to Benjamin Nummy triggered a default under the loan documents.

It was undisputed that the lawyers gave the plaintiffs a complete copy of all the documents signed by all parties in 2003. In 2012, the bank notified the bank that the 2003 transfer to Nummy violated the loan documents and declared a default and sued for foreclosure.

Plaintiffs sued Vedder Price in 2014. The case was dismissed on statute of repose grounds (the alleged negligent act occurred more than 6 years before the lawsuit was filed). Plaintiffs alleged fraudulent concealment but this claim was rejected because the alleged fraudulent concealment consisted of the same allegations that supported the negligence claim. In other words there were no allegations that the lawyers took any action after the transaction to cover up their alleged mistake.

In sum, another old malpractice claim was found to be time-barred.

Edward X. Clinton, Jr.

www.clintonlaw.net