A malpractice case against Julius Rousseau has come to a close.
The $6 Million legal case was discontinued after a stipulation citing prejudice against the well-known settlement attorney was presented on June 14, 2019.
Rousseau, an attorney for the Arent Fox LLP law firm, was first presented with a malpractice claim in a premium-finance case in March. Additional claims of malpractice included allegations dating back to 2016, citing a breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract and were ultimately thrown out for being duplicative.
Rousseau started advising Windsor Securities in 2008, most notably providing Windsor with financial advice for premium finance loans for five policies. A broker, Eugene Houchins III of Bonded Life Co. LLC, set the insureds up with the trusts, recommending that trustees be appointed to manage them properly.
As asserted by Windsor, Rousseau advised them to view Houchin’s communications as his effort to exercise the “Default Sale Right” in the agreement package, counseling Windsor against encouraging trustees to apply the “Default Sale Right” as the trustees were leaving the policies before a default occurred. Once funds were due, Rousseau stated that only a change-of-ownership form was needed for Windsor to gain access to the policies.
This advice was put to the test when one of the insureds, John Bitter, passed away and the trustee disputed Windsor’s claim to the death benefits. The judge claimed that both parties presented conflicting testimony regarding whether the conduct was below the expected standard of care, eventually ruling that neither party was to assume liability for the malpractice claim.
Coming to a Close
After the testimony, the judge ruled that Rousseau walked away with $28,022 in payment for work related to another fund with Windsor completed in 2008 as well as a counterclaim totaling $10,041 in fees unrelated to this case. The settlement amount for Windsor was agreed to privately.