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DEFENDANT’S Legal malpractice – Alleged failure to warn of risk in Dominican Republic land investment – Loss of investment funds.

Miami-Dade County, FL

The plaintiff brought this legal malpractice action against a law firm and two of its partners. The plaintiff claimed that the defendants rendered inadequate representation, and failed to appropriately warn him of the risky nature of a Dominican Republic land investment, causing him to lose his investment funds. The defendants argued that they were retained simply to set up a holding corporation for ownership of the property, and that they advised the plaintiff to seek counsel from a Dominican Republic attorney.

The plaintiff paid some $________ as the pre-construction price of a parcel of land in the Dominican Republic which he planned to develop. The project fell through, and the plaintiff lost his investment funds.

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant attorneys failed to adequately warn him of the pitfalls of the transaction. Had he been adequately warned, the plaintiff contended that he would have rescinded the purchase. The plaintiff sought $________ in damages from the defendant.

The defendants argued that the inherent risks of the Dominican Republic land deal were known to the plaintiff. The defendants contended that they were hired simply to change the form of ownership for the property to a holding corporation, and the plaintiff never asked for their opinion regarding the potential success, or failure, of the investment.

The defendants maintained that they properly performed the function for which they were retained, and they were not responsible for the loss of the plaintiff’s investment. The defense also showed that the plaintiff was advised to obtain legal counsel in the Dominican Republic.The jury found that the defendants were not negligent. The plaintiff has filed a post-trial motion for new trial. The defendants have filed for costs and attorney fees based on a proposal for settlement.

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