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Former WNBA team owner files legal malpractice suit

A recently filed lawsuit has an unusual defendant: the law firm originally hired to assist the plaintiff in another matter. Legal malpractice suits are not common, but many prove to have interesting legal arguments concerning the duties that attorneys and firms have toward their clients. Florida residents may follow the progress of this case to find how the courts will handle the claims within the suit.

The suit was filed by Gemini Basketball Holdings, which is the former owner of the Sparks, a WNBA team. The company hired the law firm to assist with negotiations concerning two loans. Gemini was attempting to restructure the loans in order to avoid defaulting on those obligations, which was the reason for hiring the law firm.

Instead of assisting Gemini with the restructuring process, the lawsuit claims that the law firm and one attorney acted in such a way as to force Gemini out of the WNBA franchise at the urging of the current owners. The suit claims breach of fiduciary duty, legal malpractice, negligent misrepresentation and fraud. Gemini is asking the court for unspecified damages.

As this case makes its way through the legal process, sports fans and business owners in Florida and across the nation will watch to see how the issue will be resolved. Legal malpractice is a serious claim, and in cases in which those accusations are proven true significant repercussions can result for an attorney or firm who violates their obligations to a client. For anyone who believes that they have been subjected to legal malpractice, the first step is to determine whether the actions are sufficient to form the foundation for legal action in the matter.

Source: JD Journal, “Gemini Basketball Holdings Sues Patzik, Frank & Samotny,” Oct. 30, 2012

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