Malpractice Defendants Claim For Contribution From Second Lawyer Rejected

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The appellate court affirmed the dismissal of a third party claim for contribution brought by a legal malpractice defendant (who advised the malpractice plaintiff regarding a corporate reorganization) against another lawyer who advised the malpractice plaintiff about litigation growing out of the reorganization. 

The court noted that, under Illinois’ Joint Tortfeasor Contribution Act, a tortfeasor who is liable to a plaintiff for the “same injury to person or property” as a defendant can be liable in contribution to that defendant.  In this case, the court held that the malpractice plaintiff’s injury had already occurred at the time the second lawyer was retained.   Therefore, the second lawyer did not cause the same injury as the first lawyer.   The court rejected arguments that the second lawyer aggravated or increased the plaintiff’s injury.

Midwest Mailing & Shipping Systems, Inc. v. Schoenberg, Finkel, Newman & Rosenberg, LLC, 2021 IL App (1st) 200669

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