Noncompliance with the affidavit of merit statute in a legal malpractice suit does not preclude a plaintiff from bringing a common-law fraud case against her lawyer, a New Jersey appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

The court, while upholding dismissal of the plaintiff’s malpractice and racketeering claims because of an affidavit filed too late, reinstated a fraud claim against the lawyer in the dispute that stemmed from a real estate transaction.

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