Evans v. McDonald, 021909 FED11, 08-11387

Docket Nº:08-11387
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM:
Party Name:DAVID G. EVANS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. BRUCE A. MCDONALD, FLORIDA PROBATE LAW FIRM, P.A., d.b.a. Statewide Probate, Defendants-Appellees,
Judge Panel:Before EDMONDSON, Chief Judge, BIRCH and DUBINA, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:February 19, 2009
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
 
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DAVID G. EVANS, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

BRUCE A. MCDONALD, FLORIDA PROBATE LAW FIRM, P.A., d.b.a. Statewide Probate, Defendants-Appellees,

No. 08-11387

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

February 19, 2009

         DO NOT PUBLISH

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida D. C. Docket No. 06-00544-CV-3-RV-MD.

          Before EDMONDSON, Chief Judge, BIRCH and DUBINA, Circuit Judges.

          PER CURIAM:

         Plaintiff-Appellant David G. Evans appeals the grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendant-Appellee Bruce A. McDonald dismissing Plaintiff's legal malpractice lawsuit.1 No reversible error has been shown; we affirm.

         These facts are undisputed. Plaintiff, then a long-term resident of Florida, retained Lawyer McDonald to probate the will of Plaintiff's late uncle, in Palm Beach County, Florida. The retainer agreement provided that Lawyer McDonald would perform the legal services customarily necessary to probate an estate. Under the terms of the will, Plaintiff was left the entirety of his uncle's estate --approximately valued at slightly more than one-half million dollars -- except that $25, 000.00 was left to Plaintiff's wife. The estate was composed largely of two apartment buildings that Plaintiff's uncle had owned in his individual capacity.

         During the probate process, Plaintiff expressed to Lawyer McDonald Plaintiff's frustration with having to probate the estate to receive his inheritance; he inquired whether something could be done to transfer his title to the inherited real estate to avoid probate in the event he predeceased his wife. Lawyer McDonald told Plaintiff of a few options that would avoid probate; Plaintiff chose to title the property jointly with his wife.

          The estate was administered in accordance with Plaintiff's uncle's will. Deeds for each of the two parcels of real estate were issued to Plaintiff individually. After these deed were recorded, Lawyer McDonald, at Plaintiff's request, prepared a quitclaim deed to both parcels from Plaintiff -- in his individual capacity -- to Plaintiff and his wife, by the entireties. Another attorney was engaged to record the quitclaim deed. Aside from the probate avoidance issue, Lawyer McDonald never advised Plaintiff about the legal consequences of the quitclaim deed and, specifically, never told Plaintiff about possible consequences in the event Plaintiff and his wife were to divorce. Also, Lawyer McDonald made no inquiry into Plaintiff's family circumstances.

         Some time in 2004, Plaintiff and his wife moved to Wisconsin. In August 2004, Plaintiff and his wife sold one of the inherited properties; the other was sold in July 2005. The proceeds...

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