February Florida Legal Malpractice Monthly

By Warren R. Trazenfeld, Esq.

Reid v. Daley , 276 So. 3d 878 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019), reh’g denied (Aug. 21, 2019)
Although the parties on both sides in Reid v. Daley , 276 So. 3d 878 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019), reh’g denied (Aug. 21, 2019) were pro se, at least one issue in the case resonates.
A prisoner filed an amended complaint against his post conviction attorney for money damages and “mental anguish and emotional distress”. The trial court granted a motion to dismiss with prejudice.

Otero v. Arcia , 264 So. 3d 1140 (Fla. 5th DCA 2019)
Whether the underlying legal proceeding at issue had become final was addressed in the case of Otero v. Arcia , 264 So. 3d 1140 (Fla. 5th DCA 2019). The dispute pitted clients who were mortgage foreclosure defendants in the underlying case against their former lawyer.
The claim alleged bad advice concerning a consent judgment. At the time the complaint was filed, the consent judgment was not the subject of any appeal. A motion to dismiss was filed by the lawyer alleging the claim was not ripe due to a pending appeal of an order denying a motion to cancel the foreclosure sale.

Law Offices of Fred C. Cohen, P.A. v. H.E.C. Cleaning, LLC , 4D19-1070, 2020 WL 559240 (Fla. 4th DCA Feb. 5, 2020)
In a legal malpractice case, the defendant law firm e-mailed a proposed motion for sanctions pursuant to Fla. Stat. 57.105. Such notice did not comply with Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516 which requires (1) the e-mail’s subject line contain, in all capital letters, the words “SERVICE OF COURT DOCUMENT” followed by the case number, and (2) the case number, name of the initial party of each side, title of each document served with that e-mail, and the sender’s name and telephone number.
The plaintiff’s attorney withdrew after the 21-day safe harbor provided by Fla. Stat. 57.105 and the corporate client did not obtain new counsel within the court allotted time resulting in a dismissal. In the subsequent evidentiary hearing on the motion for sanctions, the withdrawing attorney defended due to the noncompliance with Rule 2.516.


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