Court reverses summary disposition and sends legal malpractice case back to trial judge
In Beckett Family Rentals, LLC v. David & Wierenga, P.C., the plaintiffs sued their attorneys after the attorneys wrote to "Beckett Investments" and refused to perform any further work. The attorneys took this drastic position because they were concerned over the legality of the plaintiff's "literature, marketing and activities" and deemed it essential that the plaintiff retain an expert in securities law to evaluate those issues.
When sued, the attorneys argued that they were not responsible for damages suffered by Beckett Family Rentals because they had informed the clients of their withdrawal. The plaintiff argued that since the withdrawal letter went only to Beckett Investments, and since it did not inform Beckett Family Rentals of the withdrawal, the lawyers should be responsible for failing to protect the interests of Beckett Family Rentals after the "withdrawal."
The Court of Appeals ruled that there was a question of fact with regard to the impact of the withdrawal letter, since it was sent to only to one of the "Beckett" clients and the parties' testimony over related events was disputed. On that basis, the Court overturned the summary disposition.