Cook County Record

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Riffner Barber Rowden LLC, attorney sued for malpractice

By Joel Brakken | Dec 19, 2013

A woman is suing an attorney and his Schaumburg firm for malpractice, claiming he failed to properly perform in business transactions.

Sharyn DeLaurentis filed a legal malpractice lawsuit Nov. 7 in Cook County Circuit Court against Robert G. Riffner and Riffner Barber Rowden LLC.

The complaint states DeLaurentis formerly owned and operated Dinner By Design, a chain of retail establishments franchised in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois by DbD Franchising Inc.

DeLaurentis claims that prior to Aug. 23, 2007, she decided to negotiate for and purchase DbD Franchising Inc. and Dinner by Design Inc. and that the defendants were made aware of her wish to sell the franchise in areas including Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, Indiana, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Hawaii and Canada.

The suit states the plaintiff engaged the services of John Matthews, who eventually referred her to Riffner for legal counsel. DeLaurentis says that Riffner entered into an attorney-client agreement with her, although they never met, and agreed to review and guide her through the business transactions.

DeLaurentis contends Riffner aided in the creation of an agreement for purchase of sale of assets. She alleges that Riffner claimed to have reviewed various documents and participated in the due diligence following execution of the agreement, but instead relied heavily on Matthews' assertions and failed to perform simple tasks required of an attorney.

She claims she was damaged $2 millions as a result of Riffner's alleged malpractice. She is seeking an undisclosed amount of damages and is represented by Thomas W. Gooch III.

Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 2013L012341.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the Cook County Courthouse. 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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