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04/15/2014

New York/New Jersey Team Wins Unanimous Defense Verdict in Legal Malpractice Action

On April 2, Gordon & Rees New York/New Jersey partner Robert Modica and associate Lauren Conston Wilke won a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of their client in a legal malpractice action filed by the plaintiff, an adult care center.

The plaintiff filed a claim for legal malpractice against Gordon & Rees’s client, an attorney, alleging he did not properly advise the plaintiff during a $700,000 refinance of a commercial mortgage. The plaintiff claimed Gordon & Rees’s client was hired on its behalf by the issuing bank and during the closing of the refinance, Gordon & Rees’s client represented that any prepayment of the loan at issue would be “just a few thousand dollars.” However, the plaintiff alleged that after selling its business three years later, it incurred a prepayment penalty of more than $167,000. The plaintiff sought approximately $350,000 in damages.

Gordon & Rees maintained that its client was not retained as the plaintiff’s attorney in the transaction, but merely acted as the settlement agent for the closing.

After a week-and-a-half-long trial in the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey, Bergen County, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict finding that Gordon & Rees’s client was not the plaintiff’s attorney at the time of the closing, and therefore was not liable to the plaintiff for legal malpractice.

Robert Modica
Lauren Conston Wilke



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