Cook County Record

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Hinsdale attorney, firm accused of legal malpractice in real estate matter

By Matt Russell | Aug 7, 2014

Allegedly poor research on a Clarendon Hills property sale is the subject of a legal malpractice lawsuit.

James Farah and RECG LLC filed suit July 23 in Cook County Circuit Court against the Hinsdale law firm of Hawbecker & Garver and attorney Paul B. Garver.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs hired the defendants last October to represent them and check records regarding property on North Prospect Avenue in Clarendon Hills that was for sale. 

Instead of looking into the matter personally, as requested, the plaintiffs claim Garver used a paralegal who may not have been properly trained in real estate matters to inspect the property and title records. 

The plaintiffs' suit focuses on allegations surrounding what they assert was a botched title search that resulted in them bidding on a second mortgage. They claim the defendants billed them for services rendered for the property record search, but then refused to take payment and said they never represented the plaintiffs.

The defendants are accused of legal malpractice. As a result of the defendants' actions, the plaintiffs claim a bank then sold the property in a sheriff's sale, which has not yet been confirmed, without providing them notice or naming them as defendants despite their purchase of the property.

They claim they paid twice as much for the property as the successful bidder in the sheriff's sale did and that that bidder is now claiming ownership.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages in excess of $200,000 and are represented by Wauconda attorney Thomas W. Gooch III of Gauthier & Gooch.

Editor's note: This story was updated on Jan. 21, 2015 to correct an error.

Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 2014L007690.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, 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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