Ahrens v. Sigillito, 398 S.W.3d 903 (Mo. Ct. App. 2013)

A client sued her attorney for legal malpractice.  She had been referred to the attorney for advice regarding the legal ramifications of international business transactions.  Based on his legal advice, she loaned a substantial amount of money to a real estate developer in Great Britain.  The money was lost.  A federal grand jury meanwhile indicted the attorney for participating in a Ponzi scheme.  The Department of Justice secured his conviction and imprisonment.  The attorney’s malpractice insurer provided his defense in the civil suit and sought to prove that the cause of loss had been fraudulent conduct rather than professional negligence.  Michael Gross was retained to draft briefs in the trial and appellate courts.  The trial court rejected the intentional fraud defense and granted judgment on the professional negligence theory.  The Court of Appeals affirmed that judgment.

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