Plaintiff, individually and on behalf of his daughter, sued defendants, a law firm and one of its principals,
The jury found that, even though they were not clients, defendants breached the professional duty they owed to plaintiffs. It awarded damages to both father and daughter, and the judge included an award of counsel fees to both as part of the final judgment.
We affirmed the judgment as to plaintiff-father, but vacated the judgment as to his daughter. We discuss the duty owed by an attorney to a third-party in certain circumstances, the availability of emotional distress damages in an action sounding in legal malpractice, the necessary elements of proof in such an action and the propriety of an award of counsel fees to non-clients in such circumstances.