On August 1, 2018, Justice O.Peter Sherwood of the New York County Supreme Court ruled that legal experts were unnecessary and would not be allowed from either side.to determine whether a law firm committed legal malpractice. The client claims that the attorney was negligent for failing to memorialize an agreement to cap fees charged by an investment bank for services related to a corporate proxy fight. The client claims that its attorney was negligent in preparing a writing that was supposed to limit the investment bank's fees to $2 million. The client is seeking $22 million in damages from the law firm. Justice Sherwood observed that none of the issues to be tried "involve matters outside the ken of the typical juror."
According to Justice Sherwood, if the jury believes the client was verbally warned by its attorney that the fee agreement with the investment bank did not include a cap on fees, the law firm will prevail. Alternatively, if the jury believes the client's version of events: "the failure of Cadwalader (attorney) to memorialize the parties' agreement is prima facie proof of professional malpractice." The trial has been scheduled to start with jury selection on September 26, 2018. Red Zone LLC v Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, Index No. 650318/11