In Amari v. Griffin, 5:20-cv-00050 (W.D. Virginia January 27, 2021), the district court denied an attorney’s motion to dismiss a divorce malpractice case. Amari argued that her former attorney in her divorce case (Griffin) failed to properly investigate her ex-husband’s assets and failed to retain appropriate experts. This is, in my experience, a typical divorce malpractice claim.
In his motion to dismiss Griffin argued that because Amari signed the divorce decree that estopped her from claiming that her lawyer committed legal malpractice. The Court rejected that argument:
Griffin argues that Count I, Roseanne’s claim for legal malpractice, is barred by collateral estoppel. (Dkt. No. 7 at 24-25.) Griffin claims that because Roseanne signed the divorce decree and the property settlement agreement during the divorce proceedings, issue preclusion bars her from bringing a legal malpractice claim. (Id. at 26.)