Sheldon Brenner and Joshua Bell obtained a Not Guilty verdict for an attorney in a legal malpractice trial despite admitting liability
Sheldon Brenner: On March 18, 2013, Sheldon Brenner and Joshua Bell obtained a Not Guilty verdict for an attorney in a legal malpractice trial despite admitting liability. The defendant attorney failed to timely issue summons and serve a physician in a medical malpractice case in which his client alleged that he suffered ruptured tendons in his hand as the result of a physician’s negligence in performing an independent medical examination at the request of the plaintiff’s worker’s compensation insurance company. The medical malpractice case was dismissed pursuant to an Illinois Supreme Court rule that requires a plaintiff to exercise reasonable diligence in obtaining service of process on a defendant. At the trial of the legal malpractice case, the defendant attorney admitted he breached to standard of care by not obtaining service on the physician defendant within a reasonable time, but asserted the defense that he was not liable to his former client because the underlying medical malpractice case would not have been won. The jury accepted this defense and found the attorney not guilty. The case was settled pursuant to a high-low agreement negotiated during deliberations.