News Brief

Bashor, Severino and Buono Obtain Dismissal of Case Involving Misrepresentation of Nature of Legal Advice

March 21, 2023

Las Vegas partners Karen Bashor and Mark Severino and associate Taylor Buono obtained dismissal of a lawsuit brought one year after a pre-suit settlement was agreed and a release had been signed in a motor vehicle accident matter. Immediately after suit was filed, Karen, Mark and Taylor filed a motion to dismiss, or alternatively, a motion for summary judgment, asserting the release was binding and not void. The plaintiff opposed the motion contending the release was void under a new Nevada statute allowing a plaintiff to void a release signed within 30 days of an incident and without the advice of counsel. However, while plaintiff admitted she “consulted” with a law firm, she claimed she only spoke to a case manager rather than an attorney and never actually retained the law firm. Karen, Mark and Taylor argued that the statute did not require retention of counsel, and that plaintiff admitted she received legal advice at the time of signing the release. In the alternative, they argued that if plaintiff did not receive legal advice, she should be estopped from voiding the release because she intentionally misrepresented to the client that she had sought legal advice, which she used to negotiate a higher settlement. The Eighth Judicial District Court for Clark County agreed, finding that plaintiff received legal advice and/or that she misrepresented that she received legal advice to the client in order to induce a higher settlement. Therefore, the release remained enforceable and plaintiff's suit was dismissed.

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