Expert Cannot be Sued Over Opinion Expressed in Legal Malpractice Case

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The New Jersey Appellate Division has held that a legal malpractice claim cannot be maintained against an expert who served in an unsuccessful malpractice action against another lawyer. In this matter, Malcolm Blum served as the attorney for Paramus Jewelers, which was owned by Yeghoutiel Rabbani, George Fahmy and Burhan Aras. Under their operating agreement, a right of first refusal was given to the business in the event that another owner sought to sell his interest in the business. In 2001 Aras sold his interest to Fahmy without first advising Rabbani. A lawsuit was then filed by Rabbani against Fahmy and Aras. During the litigation, Rabbani obtained an expert report from Michael Ambrosio who opined that Blum had committed legal malpractice. Ambrosio found that Blum’s representation of Paramus Jewelers and Fahmy violated ethics rules, constituted a breach of his duty owed to the company and committed legal malpractice. Blum was subsequently sued. In February 2008, summary judgment was entered dismissing the malpractice claim brought against Blum.

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