Legal Malpractice — What Constitutes a Frivolous Appeal

Armstrong Teasdale LLP

Novack and Macey LLP

In Ring v. Schencker, 2021 IL App (1st) 180909-U, the 1st District Appellate court agreed that a legal malpractice claim requires proof of damages, but was divided on what constitutes a frivolous filling.  The majority opinion found that Plaintiff’s filling was not frivolous and therefore affirmed the lower court’s decision not to award sanctions.  The majority reasoned that although counsel for the Plaintiff knew that the alleged legal malpractice did not result in damages, this knowledge alone did not make the filing frivolous.  However, Justice Hyman disagreed.  In his concurring opinion, the Justice noted that Plaintiff’s briefing was “replete with misstatements of fact” and therefore should have resulted in punishment.  Id. at ¶¶ 40-41.  Further, Justice Hyman asserted that the suit was clearly motivated by “a personal feud” and Plaintiff’s attorney should have withdrawn his representation instead of advancing his client’s “false and vindictive claims for three years.”  Id. at ¶ 47.

Ring v. Schencker, 2021 IL App (1st) 180909-U


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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