Posts tagged "1016117"

Kiribati Seafood Company, LLC, et al. v. Dechert LLP (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-161-17)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports. If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   SJC-12287   KIRIBATI SEAFOOD COMPANY, LLC, & another[1]  vs.  DECHERT LLP.       Suffolk.     April 6, 2017. – October 11, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, & Cypher, JJ.[2]     Attorney at Law, Malpractice, Negligence.  Negligence, Attorney at law, Proximate cause.  Proximate Cause.  Damages, Mitigation.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on July 1, 2013.   The case was heard by Kenneth W. Salinger, J., on motions for summary judgment.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Megan C. Deluhery (John R. Neeleman, of Washington, also present) for Kiribati Seafood Company, LLC. Denis M. King (Richard M. Zielinski also present) for the defendant.     GANTS, C.J.  The issue on appeal is whether, in a legal malpractice action, a court’s error of law constitutes a superseding cause that bars recovery to the plaintiff client even where the defendant attorney was negligent for failing to prevent or mitigate the legal error.  The plaintiff, Kiribati Seafood Company, LLC (Kiribati), brought a legal malpractice claim against its former law firm, Dechert LLP (Dechert).  Kiribati alleged that Dechert negligently failed to provide a French appellate court with the evidence the court deemed necessary for Kiribati to prevail on a claim, which resulted in the court’s denial of the claim.  A judge of the Superior Court granted summary judgment to Dechert and denied partial summary judgment to Kiribati.  The judge determined that the French appellate court committed an error of law in requiring this evidence and that, even if Dechert were negligent in failing to provide the evidence to the court, Kiribati could not recover damages for Dechert’s negligence because the court’s legal error was a superseding cause of the adverse decision.  We conclude that an error of law under these circumstances is a concurrent, not a superseding, proximate cause and that the judge therefore erred in granting summary judgment to Dechert and denying partial summary judgment to Kiribati. Background.  Because this is an appeal from an allowance of summary judgment, we set forth the undisputed material facts.  Kiribati purchased a fishing vessel known as the Madee (ship), and chartered it to Olympic Packer, LLC, and Dojin Co., Ltd., for the purpose of fishing for tuna in the Pacific Ocean.[3]  After sustaining damage to its […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 11, 2017 at 10:48 pm

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