Legal Malpractice Victory on Right of First Refusal
December 3, 2012 Case Study
Voss Road Exxon LLC v. Vlahakos
This legal malpractice case alleged that a law firm had committed malpractice in connection with an option for acquisition of real estate. The case turned on the intersection of the law of waiver and the rules governing rights of first refusal, as the client in the underlying matter already had allowed the right of first refusal to expire before contacting his law firm to request assistance. Beck Redden persuaded the court of appeals that a right of first refusal is an option that expires when it is not exercised timely, such that any subsequent conduct by the law firm could not be the legal cause of any injury to the client. The case was won in the trial court by Beck Redden partner Alistair Dawson, and the appeal was handled by Beck Redden partner Russell Post. The case was Voss Road Exxon LLC v. Vlahakos, 2011 WL 2623989 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2011, no pet.).