Alston & Bird and the bankruptcy trustee for one of its former clients, the beleaguered Friedman’s Jewelers Inc., are on the verge of settling a suit over allegations that the firm committed legal malpractice.

The suit and potential settlement grew out of the investment problems, bankruptcy reorganizations, and other legal troubles — including the criminal conviction of Friedman’s former CEO and a guilty plea by one of its former directors — that for years have plagued what was once the nation’s third-largest specialty jewelry retailer.

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