Mr. Seltzer earned a B.A. from Michigan State University and J.D. from Wayne State Law School where he was Senior Associate Editor of the Wayne Law Review. He has authored and published articles for a range of legal and insurance publications including, ABA Magazine, The Brief, Michigan Bar Journal, Michigan Defense Quarterly, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Federal Lawyer, The Insurance Advocate, The Professional Liability Underwriting Society Magazine, Detroit Legal News and Oakland County Legal News.
ICLE Webinar: “Identify and Pursue Legal Malpractice Claims.” February, 2017 Phillip E. Seltzer was selected by the prestigious Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) to be on a panel of experts for a webinar titled “Identify and Pursue Legal Malpractice Claims.” Posted on ICLE.org, this webinar is available for member viewing and provides continuing legal education credits. The overall theme of this webinar addresses identifying legal malpractice as a claim, the elements necessary to sustain such a claim, and the available defenses that may bar or defeat such an action. Topics discussed include: strategies for identifying the required elements for a potential malpractice action; the evaluation of the defenses that might bar recovery or defeat a claim; establishing or refuting the applicable standard of care with expert testimony; identifying when a conflict of interest results in divided loyalties, when such a conflict may form the basis of a claim, and the defenses to such conflict of interest claims; and distinguishing malpractice liability from a violation of professional ethical standards and if or when such standards are relevant to litigating a malpractice claim.
Adrift in a Sea of Venue Determining “Original” Injury in a Legal Malpractice Case Without a Compass By Phillip E. Seltzer and C. Thomas Ludden
The Statute of Limitations and Legal Malpractice: Protecting Against the Revival of Stale Malpractice Claims By Phillip E. Seltzer and Karen A. Smyth
Attorney’s Right to a Bench Trial in Legal Malpractice Cases
Watts V Polaczyk:Arbitration Clauses in Attorney Retainer Agreements Upheld
Trial Lawyers and the Error-in-Judgment Immunity Rule
Michigan Retroactively Applies Legal Malpractice Six Year Repose Statute to Bar Claims Arising Prior to Enactment of Statute
Nortley v. Hurst, — Mich App —-; — N.W.2d —- (2017)(Michigan Court of Appeals, issued October 10, 2017, Docket #333240)(2017 WL 4526679)
The case is significant for lawyer defendants sued for conduct springing from any alleged negligent act or omission over six years from the alleged negligence – regardless of whether that negligence occurred before the enactment of the repose statute. By their very nature, statutes of limitation and statutes of repose are arbitrary and do not discriminate between the just and unjust claim or the avoidable and unavoidable delay. However, they all recognize the basic notion that a defendant has the right to be free, at some point, from stale claims and the increasing jeopardy of fading memories and lost evidence. Repose statutes attempt to cap or otherwise set the outside time parameter when such claims are deemed expired regardless of knowledge of a claim or the existence of injury.
Summary Dismissal Affirmed In Legal Malpractice Case Where Plaintiff Failed To Show That “Pertinent Decision Makers” Of Government Agency “Would Have” Agreed To A “Better Result” But For The Alleged Incorrect Legal Advice Given By Lawyer During Settlement Negotiations
Manveen Saluja, M.D v Honigman Miller Schwartz And Cohn LLP, et al, Unpublished Per Curiam Opinion of the Michigan Court of Appeals, issued March 16, 2017 (Docket No.330367)
The case is significant for lawyer defendants sued for conduct springing from a non-litigation negotiation/settlement/transactional context. Although the “suit within a suit” concept may not directly apply, a plaintiff is not relieved from the burden to establish that a defendant attorney’s actions were the necessary factual cause of an injury and that actual damages resulted from those actions — namely, that but for the conduct of the attorney, plaintiff “would have” obtained a “better” outcome. Saluja requires that, in non-litigation circumstances, a plaintiff must show the “pertinent decision-makers” on the other side of the negotiation/settlement/ transaction “would have” agreed to the “better outcome” if the proper advice by the attorney had occurred.
Without showing the difference between the negotiation position truly lost (the “better outcome” that “would have” been accepted) and the position a plaintiff actually obtained, any claim of a causal link to actual damages should be considered speculative. The case also demonstrates that expert testimony, discussing probable or likely outcomes, without a factual basis of what “would have” occurred, is legally insufficient to show causation and will be considered conjecture.
Lipson Neilson Enjoys Hard Fought Victory: Federal Court Dismisses Multi-Million Dollar Trade Secret Claim Against Altair Engineering, Inc. and Key Employee
Legal Malpractice Summary Dismissal Victory by Phillip E. Seltzer and Samantha Heraud
Summary Dismissal Victory Affirmed by Phillip E. Seltzer and Samantha K. Heraud In Defense of Lawyer and Law Firm on Claim of Legal Malpractice
Attorneys Phillip E. Seltzer and Shawn Grinnen Successfully Obtain Substantially More Than the Appraised Fair-Market Value for Their Client’s LLC’s Membership Interest in an Oppression/Conversion Lawsuit
Victory Achieved by Phillip E. Seltzer and Shawn Grinnen In Defense of Law Firm Client against Tortious Interference and Slander of Title Claims