A legal malpractice claim is not necessarily undermined by settlement of the underlying case, a New Jersey appeals court ruled Monday, poking a hole in a 2-year-old doctrine barring such litigation.

A three-judge panel held, in Prospect Rehabilitation Services Inc. v. Squitieri, A-2991-05, that the malpractice suit should not be dismissed if the plaintiff claims the settlement’s terms were neither satisfactory nor fair.

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