News Brief

Mulvaney and Opalewski Obtain Summary Disposition for Law Firm

November 7, 2022

Kevin Mulvaney (Partner-Detroit) and Paula Opalewski (Associate-Detroit) obtained dismissal of a legal malpractice claim in Oakland County Circuit Court on behalf of Wilson Elser’s client, a law firm. The plaintiff maintains the law firm and its associate led him to believe the firm was handling an employment discrimination matter for him following his termination by a steel company. The plaintiff alleges a letter he received on the firm’s letterhead about the potential claim establishes an attorney-client relationship. He further alleges the firm failed to pursue his underlying discrimination claim on time and that the firm’s former associate’s actions and misrepresentations about the status of litigation made after leaving the firm establish vicarious liability. Kevin and Paula successfully argued the court should dismiss the complaint because the statute of limitations bars the plaintiff’s legal malpractice claim against the law firm; the plaintiff’s breach of fiduciary duty claim sounding in legal malpractice is also barred by the statute of limitations; the plaintiff fails to plead fraud or misrepresentation with specificity, with the fraud claim also barred by the statute of limitations; and the law firm is not vicariously liable for misrepresentations made by the associate attorney after he left the law firm.

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