Portugues-Santana v. Rekomdiv Int'l, Inc., No. 12-1178 (1st Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff sought to open a Victoria's Secret franchise and sought assistance from Richard Domingo, an employee of Rekomdiv International. At the recommendation of Domingo, Plaintiff retained the law firm of Venable, LLP to assist him in establishing a business relationship with Victoria's Secret. Plaintiff paid Venable a $400,000 retainer fee, and paid $225,000 to Rekomdiv. Plaintiff later discovered Victoria's Secret franchise was not available. Plaintiff sued Rekomdiv and Domingo for breach of contract and dolo. The jury found in favor of Plaintiff and assessed damages in the amount of $625,000. In the meantime, Plaintiff sued Venable, and the parties settled. The court later found that it could not offset the damages award in the Rekomdiv suit by the Venable settlement amount. While their appeal was pending in this matter, Rekomdiv and Domingo filed a legal malpractice suit against Lamboy, their trial counsel. The district court dismissed the complaint against Lamboy. The First Circuit Court of Appeals (1) affirmed the district court's denial of offset of the damages award, as offset was not required; and (2) affirmed the court's dismissal of the legal malpractice suit, holding that the allegations in the complaint failed to establish the causation element necessary to make out a plausible legal malpractice claim.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on August 15, 2013.