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Case Law Update: Legal Malpractice in Premises Liability

Orzel v. Szewcyk, No. 1-08-2240 (5-11-09) is a first division Illinois decision which found that the plaintiff was not entitled to judgment notwithstanding the verdict in her legal malpractice trial despite defendant’s acknowledgement that her slip and fall personal injury complaint was dismissed because he failed to file a timely complaint against correct landowner. Defendant’s statement that he thought plaintiff had a viable claim is not a judicial admission; and general verdict for defendant could have been based on finding by jury that plaintiff failed to prove landlord’s liability for unnatural accumulation of snow and ice. This case will have an effect on premises liability cases.