Alabama Legal Services Liability Act, § 6-5-570, et seq., Ala. Code 1975


Belle v. Goldasich, [Ms. 1171001, Sept. 13, 2019] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2019). The Court (Mitchell, J.; Wise, Sellers, and Stewart, JJ., concur; Parker, C.J., and Bolin, Shaw, Bryan, and Mendheim, JJ., concur in the result) affirms judgments entered by the Mobile Circuit Court in favor of several attorneys in a legal-malpractice case stemming from a medical-malpractice action. Citing the Legal Services Liability Act’s four-year statute of repose in § 6-5-574(a), Ala. Code 1975, the Court first finds the appellant to have waived any arguments because her brief on appeal failed to address the statute of repose issue. Citing Fogarty v. Southworth, 953 So. 2d 1225 (Ala. 2006) (Ms. *14), the Court states:

“When an appellant confronts an issue below that the appellee contends warrants a judgment in its favor and the trial court’s order does not specify a basis for its ruling, the omission of any argument on appeal as to that issue in the appellant’s principal brief constitutes a waiver with respect to the issue.”

Id. (quoting Fogarty, 953 So. 2d at 1232).

The Court also rejects the appellant’s fraudulent-suppression claim, citing Coilplus-Alabama, Inc. v. Vann, 53 So. 3d 898 (Ala. 2010) (Ms. **15-16), “because it is undisputed that [the attorneys] had no knowledge of the supposed fact they allegedly suppressed – that [appellant] had a potential legal malpractice claim against the attorneys ... – while they represented her because she did not, in fact, have such a claim.” Ms. *16. The Court notes “[a]fter reviewing the relevant facts and the chronology of the medical-malpractice action, we agree with the attorney defendants.” Id. Accordingly, the judgments entered by the trial court in favor of the attorneys and their law firms are affirmed.

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