Eric Steinhoff and João Medeiros Obtain Dismissal of Malpractice Lawsuit

July 1, 2016

Minnesota law protects members of specialized professions such as doctors, lawyers, or accountants from frivolous malpractice lawsuits by requiring plaintiffs to submit a declaration from an expert in the professional field attesting that the claim has merit. Attorneys Eric Steinhoff and João Medeiros recently invoked this law to obtain dismissal of a legal malpractice suit brought against a local divorce attorney.
The plaintiff was a client who had asked the attorney to represent her in a divorce proceeding. Before any papers were filed in court, the client stopped communicating with the attorney. The attorney wrote a letter to the client ending the attorney-client relationship and closing the file.
Two years later, the client sued the attorney for legal malpractice. Steinhoff and Medeiros requested that the plaintiff provide the expert-review declaration. Even after obtaining an extension from the Court, the plaintiff was unable to find an expert to attest that the divorce attorney had committed malpractice. Citing the expert-review law, the Court dismissed the case.