Nearly 20 years ago, the New Jersey Supreme Court first decided whether and under what circumstances a client can settle a litigated matter and then sue her attorney for a purportedly inadequate settlement. After two seemingly contradictory opinions, Ziegelheim in 1992 and Puder in 2005, the Supreme Court clarified the issue further this year in Guido v. Duane Morris, LLP , 202 N.J. 79 (2010). Not only does the decision mark a return to the Court’s original position on the topic — settlement of an underlying claim is not necessarily a bar to a subsequent malpractice suit — it also holds that plaintiffs need not move to vacate the purportedly defective settlement before proceeding with a malpractice action.
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