Frederick v. Wallerich

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Contrary to the holding of the district court, Appellant filed a timely legal-malpractice claim under Minn. Stat. 541.05(1)(5). Respondent, Appellant’s attorney, prepared an antenuptial agreement for Appellant and his then-fiancee, Cynthia Gatliff, but the agreement did not include statutorily required witness signatures, making it unenforceable. One year after Appellant married Gatliff, Respondent drafted a will for Appellant that incorporated the antenuptial agreement by reference. When Gatliff later filed for divorce, she alleged that the antenuptial agreement was invalid due to its lack of witness signatures. Appellant subsequently sued Respondent for legal malpractice. While the invalid execution of the antenuptial agreement fell outside the six-year limitations period for malpractice claims, Appellant argued that subsequent representations by Respondent that the anteuptial agreement was valid were separate legal-malpractice claims that each triggered their own statute of limitations periods. The district court granted Respondent’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, and the court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Appellant sufficiently alleged that Respondent’s will drafting formed the basis for a separate malpractice claims within the limitations period. View "Frederick v. Wallerich" on Justia Law