Articles Posted in Professional Malpractice & Ethics

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The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Pioneer Homestead on its professional negligence claim against Sargent Engineers, Inc. on the grounds that Pioneer’s claims were time-barred, holding that disputed issues of material fact existed with respect to whether Pioneer reasonably should have discovered Sargent’s alleged negligence. After Pioneer completed construction of an apartment building it discovered numerous design deficiencies in the building’s plans, as well as deviations from those plans in the building’s construction. Pioneer sued Sargent for professional negligence in the structural engineering services it provided during the design phase of the building’s construction. The district court ruled that Pioneer’s claims were time-barred as a matter of law. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that genuine issues of material fact existed as to when Pioneer should reasonably have been on notice that it needed to investigate the adequacy of the sign, plans, and specifications for the building. View "Pioneer Homestead Apartments III v. Sargent Engineers, Inc." on Justia Law

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Andrea Richard allegedly violated the Wyoming Rules of Professional Conduct in seven different court proceedings between 2006 and 2012 by failing to comply with discovery requests and orders, causing her clients to be subjected to sanctions and expenses. According to the court she has substantial experience in the practice of law, she acted dishonestly or with a selfish motive, there was a pattern of misconduct, there were multiple offenses, she acted in bad faith to obstruct the disciplinary process by intentionally failing to comply with the rules, she refused until the very end of the process to acknowledge the wrongfulness of her conduct and the victims were vulnerable. The court adopted the recommendation of the Board of Professional Responsibility and suspended Richard from the practice of law for three years, among other sanctions. View "Bd. of Prof'l Responsibility, WY State Bar v. Richard" on Justia Law

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Appellants decided to sell 850 acres of farmland but wanted to retain the mineral rights. Summit Title Services prepared the deeds for the sale, but he deeds did not reserve the minerals. Appellants were made aware of the omission at closing, insisted that the deeds be corrected, and were assured by Summit’s employee that the problem had been rectified. Six years later, Appellants learned that the minerals had been transferred with the land. Appellants filed suit against Summit, its general counsel Olen Snider, and Kuzma Success Realty, a brokerage firm involved in the transaction. The district court granted summary judgment for Appellees on all claims, concluding that Appellants failed to exercise due diligence to discover the error so as to extend the statute of limitation as a matter of law. The Supreme Court reversed the grant of summary judgment to Summit and Snider, concluding that there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether Appellants exercised due diligence to discover errors allegedly made by Summit and that Snider failed to present a prima facie case that he was entitled to summary judgment. View "Moats v. Prof'l Assistance, LLC " on Justia Law