3rd Circ. Says Atty Isn't Liable For Husband's Malpractice

By Kevin Penton (August 21, 2019, 6:20 PM EDT) -- A New Jersey attorney can't be held responsible for the alleged malpractice of her lawyer husband who botched a wrongful termination suit because the client failed to establish that she relied on the couple's purported legal partnership when she retained the lawyer, the Third Circuit held Wednesday in a split decision.

The three-judge appellate panel affirmed the District of New Jersey's November 2017 determination that Bonnie Messler did not submit sufficient evidence to demonstrate that she had retained George Cotz because of his purported professional partnership with his wife, Lydia Cotz, according to the opinion.

Messler argued that because she signed...

Stay ahead of the curve

In the legal profession, information is the key to success. You have to know what’s happening with clients, competitors, practice areas, and industries. Law360 provides the intelligence you need to remain an expert and beat the competition.

  • Access to case data within articles (numbers, filings, courts, nature of suit, and more.)
  • Access to attached documents such as briefs, petitions, complaints, decisions, motions, etc.
  • Create custom alerts for specific article and case topics and so much more!


Hello! I'm Law360's automated support bot.

How can I help you today?

For example, you can type:
  • I forgot my password
  • I took a free trial but didn't get a verification email
  • How do I sign up for a newsletter?
Ask a question!