Third District Reverses Dismissal of Legal Malpractice Claim

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The Third District reversed the dismissal of a legal malpractice claim that the trial court had dismissed on collateral estoppel grounds.  The trial court held that collateral estoppel barred the claim due to the dismissal of a related federal court action.

The appellate court held that because some of the alleged acts of malpractice occurred prior to the plaintiffs consent to certain actions (which was the basis for dismissal in the federal court) collateral estoppel did not bar the action.

The court held that the statute of limitations also did not justify dismissing the action.   When the savings statue (which tolls the statute of limitations while a federal action is pending) was considered, plaintiff adequately alleged that he did not know of the malpractice more than two years prior to filing suit.

David Bielfeldt and Karen Wales v. Lee Graves, Elm One Call Locators, Inc. and Graves Law Offices, P.C.,
2021 IL App (3d) 20118-U

 

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