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Bogaert Sustains Motion to Dismiss in Legal Malpractice Claim against AmLaw 100 Firm

November 24, 2020

Bill Bogaert (Partner-Boston) represented an AmLaw 100 law firm on a claim for contribution in Massachusetts Federal Court. Suit was first brought by its client, a distributor, against a prior law firm for legal malpractice resulting in a $19.9 million assessment made against the distributor by a labor union multi-employer pension fund. The distributor claimed that the prior counsel had given it negligent advice regarding the reduction of its union workforce leading to liability for a partial withdrawal assessment by the pension fund. The prior counsel impleaded Wilson Elser’s client law firm as successor counsel, seeking contribution claiming that our client failed to assist the distributor in mitigating the loss. Bill moved to dismiss on the grounds that although the assessment was made by the pension fund while the AmLaw 100 firm was representing the distributor, the liability was incurred under ERISA prior to our client’s engagement. For that reason, our client could not be jointly liable with the prior counsel for the $19.9 million assessment – the only damages incurred by the distributor at issue in the lawsuit. The Magistrate granted our motion and his Report and Recommendation to the District Court Judge was not objected to by any party.

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