Eleventh Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment on Failed Business’s Claims
John Bunyan and Joe Kingma won 11th Circuit affirmance of summary judgment for a law firm that had represented the plaintiff and his retail corporation in bankruptcy. Plaintiff claimed that the law firm breached its duties in advising him to sign a personal guaranty of one of his store’s debts to avoid the appointment of a trustee and allowing a suit filed by his creditor to enforce the guaranty to go into default after he fled the country. In affirming summary judgment for the law firm, the 11th Circuit agreed with John and Joe’s arguments that the law firm’s advice to sign the guaranty was an honest exercise of professional judgment entitled to judgmental immunity. The 11th Circuit further agreed that plaintiff could not show that any alleged wrongdoing by the law firm proximately caused him damages because there was no valid defense to the enforcement of the guaranty. John and Joe also thwarted the plaintiff’s attempt to bring adversary claims against the law firm through his corporation in the bankruptcy court by negotiating a settlement of those claims with the trustee, which the bankruptcy court approved after a daylong hearing.