This site is not authorized by Glassman, Wyatt, Tuttle & Cox. It is a supplement to richardglassmanmemphisattorney.com that documents prior legal malpractice by the firm, including a case where Memphis attorney Richard Glassman and his daughter, Lauran Glassman-Stimac, let the statute of limitations run in a medical malpractice case, and fraudulently concealed that fact from their client.
I. Richard Glassman commits legal malpractice when he negligently drafts a release arising out of a lawsuit, causing his client to be sued again. Federal judge rules that Glassman could have drafted the release to have excluded the second claim.
Here Glassman defended an accounting firm in a malpractice case. He was hit with a jury verdict of $8 million and settled the case on appeal. He attempted to draft a release to protect his client from another lawsuit but failed to do so correctly, resulting in malpractice and the plaintiff bringing a second lawsuit against the defendant (his client).
See p. 10 of the federal judge's ruling in this PDF.
This decision may be found on PACER in the United States District Court for the Middle District on Tennessee, Zander v. Katz, Sapper, and Miller, Docket No. 3:18-cv-000653, Document No. 53.
Glassman partners Ed Wallis and Lewis Lyons, who typically handle minor cases such as defending insurance companies in slip and fall cases, botch class action where they attempted to represent a class of elderly African-American whose homes were damaged by an explosion at a Memphis chemical plant. The judge refused to approve the settlement proposed by Wallis and Lyons that would have given homeowners virtually nothing. The proposed settlement was so poor that Wallis and Lyons attempted to obtain $26,000 in attorneys’ fees for themselves while paying only $300 to the three named plaintiffs. See paragraph VI of the proposed notice of settlement that is in this PDF.
Memphis attorney Richard Glassman, well known for making unsupported statements in court, commits five acts of legal malpractice in his motion to dismiss an accounting malpractice case while defending case brought against Crane, Thompson and Jones ("CTJ"). The Court rules Glassman's work on behalf of this accounting firm (CTJ) is inadequate and in violation of the local rules of the federal court.
Glassman is now 75 years old (in 2021) and is too old to be engaged in trial work.
Here are direct quotes from the Court's decision criticizing Glassman's work. This decision is in PDF.
"Local Rule 7.1(b) provides that "[b]riefs shall include a concise statement of the factual and legal grounds which justify the ruling sought from the Court." Since Defendant made no attempt to develop an argument with respect to the fraudulent misrepresentation claim, the Court concludes that it has waived any such argument(s) at this stage. See McPherson, 125 F.3d at 995 ("[I]ssues adverted to in a perfunctory manner, unaccompanied by some effort at developed argumentation, are deemed waived."). (p. 11)
"Defendant, however, does not point to any particular portion of the complaint that it insists is lacking in detail, and the Court declines to search through the complaint for potential defects. See City of Morristown v. BellSouth Telecomms., LLC, 206 F. Supp. 3d 1321, 1337 (E.D. Tenn. 2016) ("Defendants' argument is two sentences long. Defendants do not identify any portion of the Complaint - paragraphs, phrases, or words - that is wanting in particularity. The Court is not at liberty to scour the Complaint for defects that come within the wide net that Defendants have cast."); see also McPherson, 125 F.3d at 995-96; Local R. 7.1(b). Accordingly, the Court concludes that CTJ has not met its burden to dismiss Count IV of the complaint."(pps 13-14)
"And, again, Defendant asserts that HomeTrust has not pled this claim with the necessary "degree of specificity," yet it omits any explanation as to why Plaintiff's allegations are not specific enough i.e., what information is lacking. For that reason, the Court declines to address CTJ's Rule 9(b) argument. McPherson, 125 F.3d at 995-96." (pps 18-19)
"Second, CTJ does not identify any particular portion of the complaint that is lacking in particularity. As Defendant failed to develop this argument, the Court concludes that CTJ has not met its burden to dismiss Count V of the complaint." (pps 21-22.)
"As to Defendant's alternative request for a more definite statement, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(e), the Court concludes that Defendant has waived this argument by failing to develop any argument in support thereof. McPherson, 125 F.3d at 995-96. Additionally, the Court notes that Plaintiff's one-sentence request, inserted at the end of its response, for leave to amend its complaint is not well taken. If HomeTrust desires to amend its complaint, it must file a separate motion and brief in accordance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 15 and Local Rule 7.1." (p. 23)
This decision may be found on PACER in the United States District Court for the Eastern District on Tennessee, Docket No. 3:20-cv-00041-JDB-DCP, Document 30.
III. Glassman, Wyatt, Tuttle and Cox partners Kyle Cannon and Lewis Lyons, who normally handle minor insurance defense cases such as car wrecks and work comp cases, bring plaintiffs' class action in New Jersey and get shredded by federal judge in blistering 59 page decision, after the US Department of Justice and Attorneys General of 19 states object to the settlement that proposed to give class members coupons worth next to nothing, while lawyers would take home $1.7 million for work that the judge soundly criticized as being inadequate and unhelpful.
Here are some direct quotes from the Court's ruling that is below in the PDF.
"The parties also neglected to direct the Court's attention to at least two other important aspects of the proposed settlement." (p. 11). "The parties also neglected to direct the Court's attention to at least two other important aspects of the proposed settlement. First, as later became clear, the proposed settlement contained material differences between the class as proposed in the Complaint, and the proposed settlement class. The Complaint proposed a class encompassing customers who purchased only A and B wines. The proposed settlement class, however, added an entirely new group of proposed class members: customers who purchased neither A nor B wines, i.e., C wines. The significance of this change, and why it deeply troubles the Court, will be discussed infra. Second, the parties also did not adequately address the class certification requirements. In particular, at no time during the preliminary approval hearing, nor in the parties' papers in support of the motion for preliminary certification, did the parties address the interaction between the Court's Opinion on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and the Motion to Certify the Settlement Class." (pps. 11-12)
"Early in January, 2018, the Court started receiving objections from class members, and the potential, indeed, fundamental, problems with the proposed class and the proposed settlement began to surface. By the objection deadline, the Court had received ten objections, as well as filings by the United States Department of Justice, Consumer Protection Division, and the Arizona State Attorney General on behalf of 19 States' Attorneys General." (pps 12-13)
"In the Court's experience, the objectors in this case qualify as vociferous." (p. 12)
"In addition to these written submissions, the Court has held two hearings spanning almost six hours. The Court has undertaken all of this in an attempt to ascertain all of the information necessary to decide whether to certify the proposed class and approve the proposed settlement. Unfortunately, despite this Court's best efforts to afford the parties ample opportunity to provide the Court with the information it requires, many fundamental and important questions remain unanswered." (p. 16)
Plaintiffs unequivocally state in their brief, "from the start of the [pre-suit case] investigation until entry into this [Settlement] Agreement, Class Counsel obtained no discovery from [Defendant]." (p. 39)
"Under such circumstances the Court cannot determine the value of the settlement to the class and cannot hold that the proposed settlement is fair to the class." (p. 52)
Notably, the parties have not submitted a single statement from a single class member-- not even from the named Plaintiffs-- stating the class member's interest in using the Credits." (p. 52)
"Yet class members do not know how much their pro rata distribution will be when the choice must be made. How is such a forced choice, based on insufficient information, fair to the class? This is another question the parties have not answered." (p. 57
In sum, too many questions remain, and without answers, the Court is unequipped to approve the parties' settlement. Accordingly, for the foregoing reasons, the Motion for Final
Settlement Approval will be denied. An appropriate Order shall issue on this date.
Dated: April 17, 2018
Renee Marie Bumb
RENEE MARIE BUMB
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
In this case, class representatives Lewis Lyons and Kyle Cannon are associates at a Memphis TN law firm, Glassman, Wyatt, Tuttle and Cox, P.C. ("GWTC"). See http://gwtclaw.com/team/kyle-cannon/ (last visited Feb. 7, 2018); http://gwtclaw.com/team/lewis-lyons/ (last visited Feb. 7, 2018). GWTC has an attorney-client relationship with the another Memphis firm (Apperson Crump PLC), having directly represented Apperson Crump in defending against a malpractice suit. See Braxton v. Apperson, Crump & Maxwell, PLLC, No. 2:12-cv-02761, Dkt. 79 (W.D. Tenn. Aug. 13, 2013), vacated in part No. 13-6219, Dkt. 40 (6th Cir. Mar. 11, 2015), cert den'd 136 S. Ct. 817 (2016). Although Apperson Crump is not formally designated as settlement "class counsel," everything indicates that they have been and continue to be involved in some undisclosed capacity. The complaint (Dkt. 1) lists Apperson Crump attorney J. Mark Benfield in the signature block. Complaint at 28. The settlement itself carves out, alongside designated class counsel, "Apperson Crump, PLC, or any partner, member, shareholder or employee of Apperson Crump, PLC" from eligibility to claim settlement coupons). Settlement Â§ 4.E. If Apperson Crump are to be allocated any share of the attorneys' fees in this case, as a finder's fee, for work on this matter, or otherwise, then the class representatives cannot be adequate independent representatives. An attorney-client relationship creates an inherent conflict of interest, one that cannot be assuaged by class representatives' subjective awareness of their duties. See Radcliffe v. Experian Info Solutions, 715 F.3d 1157, 1166 (9th Cir. 2013). "Class representatives need to be capable of saying no if they believe counsel are failing to act in the best interests of the class." Southwest, 799 F.3d at 714. Compounding the conflict itself is the class notice's failure to disclose it. Southwest, 799 F.3d at 714. Given Class Counsel's attempt to proceed with categorically improper representatives, and failure to disclose the conflict to the class or the Court, there can be no confidence that either class counsel is adequate, or that the other class representatives are independent of counsel.
This decision may also be found on PACER in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Kyle Cannon, et al. vs Ashburn Corporation, Docket No. Civil No. 16-1452 (RMB/AMD), Document No. 107.