According to the January 21 edition of the Sarasota Herald Tribune, lawyer David Band and his former law firm are being sued for alleged fraud and legal malpractice by plaintiff Harold Libby. The latter has accused Band of breach of fiduciary duty and other failings following a real estate investment made by Libby in the US Virgin Islands.
The Legal Malpractice litigation, filed in 2008, stems from a $1.07 million investment made by Libby and his wife toward a 48-unit condo project dubbed Grande Bay Resort on the island of St. John.
Upon making a trip to the construction site, Libby alleges he found mold, a lack of important electrical equipment on site, elevators that had yet to be installed and the build-up of excess debris that had served to slow the work of sub-contractors.
Band, who was the plaintiff's personal attorney at the time, had asked Libby to meet a $400,000 capital call necessary to complete the project. Libby refused. His initial investment was later forfeited, the Herald Tribune reports, by the Band-led partnership assembled to construct the resort.
Band, who is identified as a defendant in several other legal malpractice cases, was also abruptly asked by his partners at the Abel Band Chartered law firm to vacate the firm in January 2009 following an indemnity disagreement.
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Sarasota Circuit Court Judge Charles E. Roberts, assigned to the case since the lawsuit was filed in August 2008, was set to finally begin the trial next week. However, after he was assigned to adjudicate a capital murder trial that would serve as a conflict with the Libby legal malpractice suit, Roberts asked both parties involved in the case if they would entertain a delay or accept another judge for the trial to begin on schedule.
Legal malpractice lawyers for both the plaintiff and defendants agreed that a delay was prudent, given Robert's substantial investment in the case over the past two and one-half years.
Libby is pursuing a legal malpractice settlement in the matter.