Firm News

Michigan Court of Appeals – No Attorney-Client Relationship Between Law Clerk and Attorney who Advised Him Concerning His Divorce

By Will Jordan

A law student sought and obtained advice from a lawyer at the firm at which he was working concerning his ongoing divorce litigation. The law clerk subsequently brought a legal malpractice action against the attorney and the law firm. The court affirmed the dismissal of the legal malpractice claim, concluding there was no attorney-client relationship for two reasons. First, the advice—which amounted to telling the court the truth and suggesting that his spouse was using litigation to harass him—did not rise to the level of “the legal advice unique to the attorney-client relationship.” Second, the law clerk obtained the advice while working at a law firm where “the very nature” of his job was “learning the legal system.” Accordingly, his dealings with the attorney were “far too attenuated to establish the speculative attorney-client relationship” he claimed.

Andrews v. Fixel Law Offices, PLLC, Nos. 319326, 320394 (Mich. Ct. App. April 16, 2015).

Read the full opinion here.