After a lengthy jury trial, Conrad O'Brien achieved a defense verdict in favor of its client, an AmLaw 100 firm, in a legal malpractice case.
A Pennsylvania state court jury found in favor of Conrad O'Brien's client by determining that the firm did not breach the standard of care in its representation of the plaintiff, and had not breached its fiduciary duties.
In this legal malpractice case, the plaintiff sued the law firm in contract and tort. The plaintiff alleged that the firm had committed malpractice in the process of negotiating a $1.8 million settlement agreement on his behalf in connection with a complex corporate governance case in the Chancery Court of Delaware. The plaintiff alleged that the firm failed to ensure that the agreement contained security or other guarantees of payment, and that he was coerced into settling under the pressure of mounting legal fees.
Conrad O’Brien defended on the grounds that the deal obtained by the firm through negotiations with the underlying defendants was the best deal the client could expect under the circumstances; that security was a term the other side would never agree to; and that the underlying defendants had been very clear that the agreement would not include security under any circumstances.
Conrad O’Brien’s attorneys contended that the plaintiff, a sophisticated businessman, had gone into the deal with a full understanding of the terms of the agreement and was not coerced into settling, and had only made an allegation of malpractice once he was sued by the firm over his unpaid legal bills.
The parties tried the case for over a week in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County before the jury returned a verdict in favor of the firm.