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2003

Case law

Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

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Estate Planning Malpractice: Is Strict Privity Here To Stay?, Angela M. Vallario Mar 2003

Estate Planning Malpractice: Is Strict Privity Here To Stay?, Angela M. Vallario

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Under Maryland case law, a plaintiff in an estate planning malpractice action must be in strict privity with the attorney who drafted the will. To date, Maryland has not extended the third-party beneficiary exception to the estate planning arena.

Legatees specifically identified in a will by name or class are generally precluded from bringing a cause of action against the attorney for the attorney's alleged negligence, because in Maryland in order to recover for legal malpractice, a plaintiff must:show: "(1) the attorney's employment; (2) his neglect of a reasonable duty; and (3) loss to the client proximately ...