Zhang v. RasmusAnnotate this Case
In this legal malpractice action against Plaintiff's former attorneys the Supreme Court reversed the order of the circuit court granting one attorney's motion to dismiss based on lack of personal jurisdiction and granted summary judgment in favor of all the former attorneys, holding that while the court erred when it dismissed one attorney for lack of personal jurisdiction it correctly granted summary judgment to that attorney and the other defendants.
Plaintiff, a physician, filed this action against three attorneys he retained to prosecute a legal malpractice claim against his former divorce attorney. The court granted one attorney's motion to dismiss, finding it lacked personal jurisdiction due to insufficient minimum contacts in South Dakota. The court then granted summary judgment for all the defendants. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the circuit court erred when it determined it did not have personal jurisdiction over one attorney because that attorney's conduct and connection with South Dakota were such that it could reasonably anticipate being haled into a South Dakota court; but (2) because Plaintiff failed to establish a submissible case of legal malpractice against the defendants the circuit court correctly granted summary judgment.