Rosenbaum v. White, No. 11-3224 (7th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
In 2005, attorneys White and Beaman, assisted securities broker-turned-real estate investor Seybold with a plan to buy, rehabilitate, and then sell, or refinance and rent, residential and commercial properties in Marion, Indiana. That plan involved the creation of two business entities, one partially owned by a group of private investors who contributed more than $1 million. When the plan failed, the investors sued. The district court entered summary judgment on all of the claims against the attorneys: state and federal RICO violations, conversion, federal and state securities fraud, common-law fraud (both actual and constructive), civil conspiracy, and legal malpractice. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. The plaintiffs failed to establish either that an attorney-client relationship existed or that the attorneys owed them some other legal duty for purposes of the malpractice, constructive fraud, and securities-fraud claims. Plaintiffs relied solely on representations that concerned only future conduct, or on representations of existing intent that were not yet executed, so claims of actual fraud failed, Plaintiffs failed to provide evidence that the lawyers acted in concert with Seybold to commit an unlawful act or to accomplish a lawful purpose through unlawful means.