January 26, 2023: KPL’s client—a personal injury law firm headquartered in New York—was retained by the Plaintiffs in 2018 to investigate the viability of a potential cause of action against the University of Utah and related entities, stemming from in vitro fertilization services provided to one of the plaintiffs in 1990. Those services resulted in the birth of one of the plaintiffs in 1991, who in October of 2018 received the results of a DNA test, allegedly revealing that the man whom she believed to be her biological father was in fact not.
Throughout the course of their representation of the Plaintiffs, attorneys in the firm’s New York Office investigated the viability of a potential claim and the Plaintiffs spoke only with members of that New York office, including one of its Partners—whom the plaintiffs had also named as a defendant. On several occasions the Plaintiffs were advised the firm did not believe a claim was viable under Utah law. However, the Plaintiffs were advised that if they wished to consult with another attorney, they should do so immediately, because of a potential argument that could be made concerning the fling of a Notice of Claim within one year of when the plaintiffs received the results of the DNA test.
Plaintiffs ultimately brought suit against KPL’s clients in Lee County, Florida, alleging legal malpractice for “dropping the case two weeks prior to the expiration of the Statute of Limitations.”
KPL attorneys Rob Kein and Josh Talcovitz argued that Florida lacked personal jurisdiction over the firm partner and that Florida was an inappropriate forum for adjudication of this dispute. While the Plaintiffs were Florida residents, the case itself had no true nexus to the State. Rather, New York provided a more convenient and appropriate forum, particularly where Florida lacked personal jurisdiction over one of the named defendants. The Court agreed and ultimately dismissed the case. To date, Plaintiffs have not refiled their action in New York.