Woman's fraud claim against mortgage company, and now malpractice claim, are summarily dismissed
Sharon Bear sued Kenneth Prather, Walter Briggs Connolly and Connolly's firm, after she was cheated by Lee S. Ruhl. Bear had previously sued Golden Mortgage, arguing that Ruhl's fraudulent schemes were enabled by Golden Mortgage, however, the Court granted summary disposition of her claim after it concluded that she hadn't presented adequate evidence of Golden's involvement in Ruhl's fraud to hold Golden Mortgage accountable. She then sued her attorneys for malpractice. That claim was also summarily dismissed. She appealed.
The Court of Appeals last month upheld the dismissal of the malpractice claim. It ruled that the evidence offered by her original attorneys after her fraud claim was dismissed--which evidence wasn't considered by the Court in the Golden case because it wasn't filed timely--would not have changed the outcome of the original summary disposition.
On this basis, the Court concluded that even if the attorneys' work was deficient in terms of what should have been placed before the original reviewing court, even taking that information into account, her evidence didn't adequately establish that Golden Mortgage was fully aware of Ruhl's fraud--and therefore the original case was a "loser." If the case was a loser, her attorneys' malpractice didn't cause her any damages.