EDWARD JOSEPH WARWICK, SR. v. JENKINS, HABENICHT & WOODS, PLLC, ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Apr 25, 2013

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

James D. R. Roberts, Jr. and Janet L. Layman, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Edward Joseph Warwick, Sr.

Attorneys 2:

David L. Johnson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Jenkins, Habenicht & Woods, PLLC, Daniel K. Habenicht, and Rebecca S. Woods.

Judge(s): SWINEY

Edward Joseph Warwick, Sr. (“Plaintiff”) sued Jenkins, Habenicht & Woods, PLLC, Daniel K. Habenicht, and Rebecca S. Woods (“Defendants”) alleging legal malpractice, among other things. Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. After a hearing, the Trial Court granted Defendants summary judgment after finding and holding, inter alia, that several of Plaintiff’s claims were completely unsupported by expert testimony and that for the remaining three claims Plaintiff had suffered no harm. Plaintiff appeals to this Court raising an issue about whether the Trial Court erred in granting summary judgment and an issue regarding whether the Trial Court erred in granting Rule 11 sanctions against Plaintiff and his counsel. We find that there are genuine disputed issues of material fact as to one of Plaintiff’s malpractice claims, a claim relative to a stipulation. We reverse the grant of summary judgment as to this claim. We affirm the grant of summary judgment with regard to Plaintiff’s other claims and Defendants’ counterclaim for attorney’s fees. Because we are unable to determine at this stage whether Plaintiff’s complaint completely lacked merit, we vacate the award of Rule 11 sanctions. We also vacate the award of discretionary costs. This case is remanded to the Trial Court for further proceedings.

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