Taylor Dunham and Rodriguez Wins Legal Malpractice Case in Texas Supreme Court

Taylor Dunham and Rodriguez LLP successfully reversed a Court of Appeals judgement in Linegar v. DLA Piper US, LLP. Donald Taylor, Jennifer Tatum Lee, and Natalie Taylor of Taylor Dunham Rodriguez LLP tried the case that returned the largest legal malpractice verdict in the State for 2013.

The Linegar case centered around an allegation that DLA Piper, the largest law firm in the world, had failed to properly secure a "bridge loan" to a company that Chris Linegar had loaned money to from his retirement account. DLA Piper failed to properly record the filing statement as required by UCC-1 making the loan unperfected. Soon after this defect was noticed, Identiphi, the company Linegar had made the loan to, filed for bankruptcy and the loan made was subject to challenges. DLA Piper denied Linegar was a client of the law firm. The major legal issue in the case was what actions of a lawyer can create an attorney client relationship, short of a formal engagement agreement.

The trial courts judgement was reversed by the Eastland Court of Appeals holding that Linegar lacked standing because the loan came out of his retirement account.

On May 27, 2016, the Texas Supreme Court reversed the appellate court' s decision. The Court held that standing was met because "[t]he case was pleaded, tried, and submitted to the jury on claims that DLA Piper violated duties it owed to Linegar in his individual capacity and that those violations proximately caused damages to him individually" and "[t]hat is sufficient to show standing."

After the decision, Donald Taylor stated that Chris Linegar's faith had been restored in the Texas Justice System.

For more on this case see: https://www.law360.com/articles/801245/texas-high-court-revives-investor-s-suit-against-dla-piper; http://www.txfiduciarylitigator.com/2016/05/texas-supreme-court-holds-that-individual-beneficiary-had-standing-to-bring-a-legal-malpractice-claim-involving-a-loan-from-an-account-managed-by-a-corporate-trustee/; and http://www.texaslawyer.com/id=1202758916688/Texas-Supreme-Court-Allows-129M-Legal-Mal-Case-Against-DLA-Piper-to-Proceed

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