Ashley Perry Nov. 21, 2014, 10:30am

A Chicago lawyer is suing his divorce attorneys, claiming their alleged malpractice forced him to pay nearly a million dollars in taxes that his ex-wife should have had to split with him.

Arthur T. Susman filed a complaint Nov. 13 in Cook County Circuit Court against James B. Pritikin, Floyd N. Nadler, Enrico J. Mirabelli and Nadler, Pritikin & Mirabelli (NPM), a Chicago law firm that is now known as Beermann Pritikin Mirabelli Swerdlove LLP.

According to the complaint, Susman hired the NPM defendants in 2009 to represent him in his divorce proceedings. Shortly after filing for divorce, he claims he received about $2.7 million in legal fees from his work as an attorney and told the defendants about it, as well as the unpaid taxes associated it, before his divorce proceedings began.

During the proceedings, Susman alleges an agreement was made between the attorneys, without him or his wife present, that he would receive 40 percent of the estate and his wife would get 60 percent.

According to the suit, however, Susman had to pay 100 percent of the taxes owed on the $2.7 million, but his ex-wife received 60 percent of that amount with no tax liability as a result of his attorneys' alleged negligence.

If the tax liability had been split fairly, Susman alleges his ex-wife would have been responsible for $576,000 of the $960,000 in taxes that he had to pay. He claims his attorneys' actions have damaged him in an amount exceeding $700,000, including the tax liability and attorneys' fees.

Susman is seeking more than $30,000, plus court costs, and is represented by attorney Martin J. Oberman of Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number: 2014L011783.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and it represents only one side of the story.

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