January 25, 2017. The Fourth District Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. has ruled that a plaintiff may go forward with a legal malpractice suit against defense attorney, Robert Lithman, and associated law firms. The plaintiffs in the malpractice suit were his former real estate company R.S.B. Ventures Inc. and its principals, Nasser Mizrahi and Dr. Veronica Motiram-Mizrahi.
The suit involved the alleged mishandling of a $10 million lawsuit. Plaintiffs claim that Lithman failed to timely appear and respond to a motion to dismiss filed by the defendants in the underlying action. The Appeals Court agreed that dismissal of the action against Mizrahis was appropriate, concluding that there was no claim for malpractice because final judgment had not entered in the underling suit. Conversely, the Court permitted plaintiff, R.S.B. Ventures’ case to proceed because a final ruling in a related foreclosure action had entered.
Writing for the Appellate Court, Judge Carole Taylor wrote: “[e]ven though collateral issues have not been resolved in the underlying litigation, a foreclosure judgment adverse to RSB has reached the point of finality, so RSB’s legal malpractice claim has accrued with respect to the foreclosure judgment”. The case was remanded for further proceedings.