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Torts — legal malpractice

Wisconsin Court of Appeals


Torts — legal malpractice

This is an appeal from an order dismissing from a malpractice suit an attorney who voluntarily dismissed an appeal and then failed to timely file a subsequent appeal involving the same subject matter. The attorney, Donald Schott, was the third attorney to represent the client, James Bourne, in connection with misrepresentation claims Bourne brought against a former business partner and others. Bourne retained a new attorney and brought a legal malpractice action against Schott and his previous attorneys.

Although Attorney Schott initially took the position that Bourne’s misrepresentation claims were viable despite a settlement agreement Bourne entered into that appeared on its face to preclude those claims, Schott now argues that the circuit court correctly concluded that the agreement bars the claims and, therefore, that Bourne’s malpractice suit against Schott was properly dismissed because the claims could not have succeeded. We agree. And we are not persuaded by Bourne’s arguments that the agreement, even if unambiguous, is unenforceable. We therefore further agree with Schott that the circuit court properly dismissed Schott as a defendant from Bourne’s malpractice action. Accordingly, we affirm the circuit court. Not recommended for publication in the official reports.

2013AP211 Bourne, et al. v. Quarles & Brady LLP, et al.

Dist IV, Dane County, Albert, J., Lundsten, J.

Attorneys: For Appellant: Cates, John L., Madison; Luebke, Michael J., Madison; Straka, Heath P., Madison; For Respondent: Armstrong, Thomas, Milwaukee

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