A jury tagged Alston & Bird yesterday with a legal malpractice verdict arising out of allegations that one of its partners failed to properly advise and protect a small, family-owned limited liability company, when its manager looted the business of nearly $1.5 million in excess compensation and overvalued shares in the company. The jury took only a few hours to reach a verdict, which, to trial attorneys, typically means the jury didn't have to think much about responsibility and went right to damages.
Whenever someone is referred to us because they are in a dispute with a member of their LLC or another shareholder of a corporation, the word dissolution must enter the discussion. But like a marital divorce, we know dissolution gets ugly, especially in closely-held businesses or family businesses, and never solves the underlying problems. We always try to find a way to avoid litigation but sometimes that is the client's only recourse and a lawsuit seeking dissolution of the company the only path.