Karen Smyth Becomes Certified Litigation Management Professional

Karen-SmythKaren Smyth recently completed the requirements for the Litigation Management Institute at Columbia University Law School in New York and was awarded the designation of Certified Litigation Management Professional (C. L. M. P.).

The Litigation Management Institute is the first certification program specifically designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the business of litigation management. The program is designed to bridge the gap between legal theory and litigation strategy, and the business aspects of litigation management. Sponsored by the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance, admission is limited to certain experienced attorneys and executives in the litigation management field.

“It was an honor to take part in the rigorous litigation management course and be recognized as one of a select group of attorneys with CLMP designation,” said Ms. Smyth “A big thank you to the Litigation Management Institute and the Claims Litigation Management Alliance for bringing industry leaders together to participate in a unique and interactive forum hosted at Columbia Law School. The knowledge gained will certainly benefit our clients.”



Article by Joe Garin and Jessica Green Published in ABA eNewsletter

Recent Nevada Supreme Court Advance Opinion examines the statute of limitations discovery rule applicable to legal malpractice actions.

Moon v. McDonald Carano & Wilson, LLP 129 Nev., Advance Opinion 56 (August 1, 2013)
By Joseph P. Garin, Esq. and Jessica A. Green, Esq.

Allowing varying accrual dates for litigation and transactional malpractice claims undermines the discovery rule.

Sierra International, Inc. (“Sierra”) entered into a $1.4 million promissory note with Appellant Moon (“Moon”). Sierra eventually defaulted on the promissory note and filed a Chapter 7 voluntary petition in Bankruptcy Court in 2001. Moon hired McDonald Carano Wilson, LLP (“MCW”) to represent their interests in Sierra’s bankruptcy action. Sierra’s bankruptcy action concluded in 2008.

In the interim, on November 3, 2006, Moon filed an action against MCW alleging (1) professional negligence, (2) breach of contract, and (3) vicarious liability arising out of its representation of Moon in Sierra’s bankruptcy action. (“First Complaint”) In 2008, the District Court dismissed Moon’s lawsuit without prejudice because Moon failed to comply with discovery requirements. Moon appealed the dismissal, and the Nevada Supreme Court affirmed.

Nearly four years later, on October 20, 2010, Moon filed a second action against MCW reasserting the same claims contained in the First Complaint. (“Second Complaint”) In March 2011, MCW filed a motion to dismiss the Second Complaint arguing the case was time–barred under Nevada’s discovery rule: NRS 11.207(1). (“Statutory Discovery Rule”)

NRS 11.207(1) provides an action for legal malpractice must be commenced within four years after the plaintiff sustains damage, or within two years after the plaintiff discovers, or through reasonable diligence should have discovered, the material facts constituting the cause of action; whichever occurs earlier.

MCW argued that the Statutory Discovery Rule governs Moon’s professional malpractice claim, and based on… click here for the full article as published in the August 2013 issue of the LPL eAdvisory, an eNewsletter from the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability.


Healthy, Wealthy & Wise: A Free Seminar and Heart Healthy Dinner

Lipson Neilson and the Center for Estate Planning, in conjunction with the American Heart Association, hosted a free seminar and heart healthy dinner on October 15, 2013 at the La Sala Banquet Center, located inside of  Papa Joe’s in Rochester Hills. Steven Malach was one of the featured guest speakers of the evening. He spoke on the  matter of  Wills, Trusts & Your Legacy. Also speaking at the event on Tuesday was Dr. Pamela A. Marcovitz, Director of Ministrelli Women’s Heart Center of Beaumont in Royal Oak, who spoke on Matters of the Heart for Women.

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Lipson Neilson sponsors “Pitch for Detroit” event

Lipson Neilson Law Firm DetroitThe firm was a proud sponsor of the August 25 Pitch for Detroit charity softball tournament on Belle Isle in Detroit. This event attracted 600 people and raised $60,000. The proceeds from this event will benefit the Do it for Detroit Fund (DI4D).

Today’s young adults are leading Detroit’s resurgence. The DI4D Fund aims to empower our next generation population and Detroit ex-pats nation-wide to find relevant and meaningful ways to transform our city.


Las Vegas attorneys Joseph Garin and  Stephen Keim successfully obtained judgment as a matter of law in favor of a local real estate broker in a United States District Court, District of Nevada lawsuit.  Plaintiff’s claims involved violation of state security laws, breach of fiduciary duties, and breach of contract claims which it sought to hold the firm’s client responsible for under the theory of respondeat superior.  After three and half days of trial, at the completion of Plaintiff’s case-in-chief, Mr. Garin moved for judgment as a matter of law.  The Court granted Mr. Garin’s motion finding Plaintiff failed to establish it sustained any damages as a result of the real estate broker’s actions.  As the prevailing party, a post-trial motion for the recovery of fees and costs incurred by the client in the defense of the case remain pending.

2013 Guide to the Law of Legal Malpractice in Michigan for Insurance Claims Counsel

Phillip E. Seltzer and Joseph P. Garin recently release their new 2013 Guide to the Law of Legal Malpractice in Michigan for Insurance Claims Counsel. This annual Guide details substantive and procedural issues common to legal malpractice claims in Michigan and provides an update on key developments in this area of the law.

Phillip E. Seltzer Co-Presenter for Michigan ICLE Webinar on “The New Legal Malpractice Statute of Repose.”

On July 30, 2013, Phillip E. Seltzer was a co-presenter for a Michigan ICLE Webinar on “The New Legal Malpractice Statute of Repose.” The webinar explored the impact of the new statute on lawyers, the distinctions between a repose statute and a statute of limitation, the effect the new law will have on the pre-existing statute of limitations applicable to legal malpractice, the interaction between the new six year repose statute and other existing tolling provisions, and the best practices that lawyers should adopt to take advantage of and to ensure the earliest triggering of the available time bars on potential legal malpractice claims.

Article by Joe Garin and Jessica Green Published in ABA eNewsletter

Jessica Green

Jessica Green


Joe Garin

Issue preclusion is only applicable where an issue is actually and necessarily litigated.

Frei v. Goodsell, No. 58391, 129 Nev., Adv. Op. 43 (July 3, 2013)

A recent case in the Nevada Supreme Court provides two noteworthy holdings. In Frei v. Goodsell, appellant Eric Frei (“Appellant Frei”) challenged the district court’s refusal to apply the doctrine of issue preclusion and its application of the parol evidence rule in an attorney malpractice action.

Before the malpractice action, Appellant Frei sued the trustee of his deceased wife’s estate claiming the trustee improperly transferred his personal assets into her trust. In that trust action, Frei successfully sought to disqualify respondent Daniel Goodsell, (“Attorney Goodsell” or “Respondent Goodsell”) the attorney that prepared the trust documents, from representing the trustee, based on the district court’s conclusion that an attorney–client relationship previously existed between Frei and Goodsell and thereby created a conflict of interest.

Following resolution of the trust action, Appellant Frei sued Attorney Goodsell for malpractice claiming Goodsell failed to verify Frei’s intentions before preparing the trust documents for his signature.

Appellant Frei asserted, and maintained on appeal, the doctrine of issue preclusion prevented Attorney Goodsell from denying the existence of an attorney–client relationship with Frei in the legal malpractice lawsuit because he had been disqualified from representing the trustee in the previous trust action. Frei also challenged the district court’s application of the parol evidence rule to preclude evidence of Frei’s intent in executing a number of unambiguous documents prepared by Goodsell…click here for the full article as published in the July 2013 issue of the LPL eAdvisory, an eNewsletter from the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability.

New OCC Review Standards Target Foreclosure Abuse

As published in the State Bar of Michigan e-News – Real Property Law Section

By Douglas E. Kelin

Douglas-KelinOn April 19, 2013, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) published new guidance for residential mortgage servicers to establish minimum foreclosure processing standards. The new standards are intended to create consistency in servicer review and validation of files when a foreclosure sale is imminent.

The failure of the nation’s largest lenders to strictly comply with applicable law in the years after the housing crisis resulted in last year’s $25 billion national mortgage settlement. Widespread failures in the foreclosure process included errors in foreclosure documents, failing to provide sufficient notice of default, foreclosing on borrowers protected by bankruptcy or in the midst of a valid loan modification, and foreclosing on mortgages that lenders did not own. Click here for full article

Joe Garin: Featured Speaker at the E & O Insurance ExecuSummit

Joe Garin will be a featured speaker during the 7th Annual E&O Insurance ExecuSummit held during June 18-19, 2013 at the Mohegan Sun Resort & Convention Center in Uncasville, CT. Garin will be part included on a panel of experts that will discuss Professional Firm Dissolutions: Impact on Insurance and Liability. ExecuSummit attendees are insurance professionals in the forefront of the E&O insurance line, monitoring & researching emerging issues and trends.