Firm Sued Over Missed Appeal Court Deadline

     BY: CHIE AKIBA
LOS ANGELES (CN) – Former client sued Mendes & Mount law firm for failing to notify the correct state appeals court appellate filing date for the former trial he had between Bank of America which caused him to pay $35,000,000.
In September 2001, Leonard Ross borrowed $32,500,000 adjustable-rate mortgage on his house in Beverly Hills from Bank of America. Ross also entered into an interest rate swap agreement which was intended to protect him from interest rate fluctuations. Bank of America’s “‘alternative program’ … would tranform the variable rate feature … into a fixed rate note.”
In September 2005, Ross employed Mendes & Mount’s partner Dean Herman to sue Bank of America because they failed to explain what the swap agreement was and did not explain the “liability hidden inside of them” that required Ross to pay termination damage to Bank of America.(10 from BC308813) This swap agreement “severely impaired the ability of the trust to sell the REAL PROPERTY,” or Ross’ residence in Beverly Hills.(11 from bc308813) After Herman moved from his then law firm to Mendes & Mount, Herman and partner Catherine Rivard continued to give legal advice and services. They continued to give advice to Ross after a letter from the Court of Appeals on January 26, 2010.
“Herman and Rivard turned much of the legal work that Defendants were supposed to provide over to Defendant Fuson who was then an associate.” (8) They hired Todd Fuson, an associate at Mendes & Mount, to give Ross appellate legal advice and services, ensuring that Fuson was under their supervision. Both Herman and Rivard told Ross that Fuson was a very experienced appellate lawyer and will be able to give him competent legal advise and counseling. But, Herman and Rivard “mislead the Ross Entities as to the lack of ability and lack of expertise” of Fuson which caused Ross to turn in his appellate filings too late. This resulted in Ross paying $2,000,000 for the judgment and attorney fees to Bank of America and damages of $35,000,000.
Ross seeks punitive damage for negligent legal malpractice and compensation for the damage of $35,000,000. He is represented by Katherine McClelland from Cooper & Scully.

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