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S. ILL. U. L.J.


As a consequence of requests from clients or prospective clients, lawyers are often placed in a position of giving referrals, especially in situations of cross-specialty referrals (such as an estate planning attorney whose longtime client has become a party in a personal injury lawsuit) or cross-jurisdictional referrals (such as an attorney in Michigan who is contacted by a prospective client who must respond to a lawsuit that was filed in Ohio).

But if the lawyer who receives the referral commits malpractice in handling the case, can the lawyer who made the referral be held liable for the client's loss? This paper argues that plaintiffs can draw analogies to doctrines of undue influence and breach of fiduciary duty, while defendants can invoke an analogy to the business judgment rule.