On March 29, 2023, we published a blog post titled, Retention Agreements Can Shield Firms Against Professional Liability. The post summarized the United States District Court of the Northern District of Illinois dismissal of a legal malpractice complaint against the law firm of SmithAmundsen, LLC (“the Firm”). Damian v. SmithAmundsen, LLC, No. 22 C 2830, 2023 WL 319524, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 19, 2023). The Court reasoned that the Firm’s former client, Today’s Growth Consultant Inc. (“TGC”), could not sue the Firm for failing to provide legal services not expressly stated in its engagement letter. Undeterred, TGC filed an amended complaint. In response the Firm again moved to dismiss TGC’s complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). On June 8, 2023, The Northern District of Illinois Court ruled on the Firm’s latest motion to dismiss – this time denying the Firm’s motion. Damian v. SmithAmundsen, LLC, No. 22 C 2830, 2023 WL 3886109, at *2 (N.D. Ill. June 8, 2023)
TGC’s amended complaint now alleges that the Firm committed malpractice in connection with two services it expressly agreed to provide to TGC in the parties’ retention agreement. The Court found that “[t]his pivot makes all the difference.” Id. Having now asserted that the Firm owed TGC a duty, the Court held that the amended complaint stated a claim for legal malpractice. Id. at *3.
Damian v. SmithAmundsen, LLC, No. 22 C 2830, 2023 WL 3886109