final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
appeal from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial
Circuit, Broward County; Carol Lisa Phillips, Judge; L.T.
Case No. 09005292 (09).
Georgeta Miller, Weston, pro se.
A. Cole and Lissette Gonzalez of Cole, Scott & Kissane,
P.A., Miami, for appellees.
legal malpractice action arising out of divorce litigation,
the plaintiff, Georgeta Miller, appeals an amended final
judgment on the pleadings entered in favor of the defendants,
Finizio & Finizio, P.A., Paul Finizio, and Anya Macias.
and Underlying Dissolution Proceeding
legal malpractice action has its genesis in a marital
dissolution proceeding between the plaintiff and her former
husband. The defendants, Finizio & Finizio, P.A., Paul
Finizio, and Anya Macias, represented the plaintiff in the
November 2006, the plaintiff entered into a marital
settlement agreement with her husband, which largely dealt
with custody and child support issues with respect to the
parties' two minor children.
final hearing in the dissolution action, the parties
announced that they had reached an agreement on all the
issues in the case. The parties agreed that: (1) the
plaintiff would pay $60, 000 to the trust account of the
husband's lawyer in exchange for a quitclaim deed to the
marital home; (2) both parties would waive alimony; and (3)
everything else would be covered by the marital settlement
agreement. The plaintiff stated under oath that she agreed to
be bound by the marital settlement agreement and by the terms
that her lawyer announced on the record.
January 2007, the family court entered a final judgment of
dissolution of marriage, incorporating the terms of the
written marital settlement agreement as well as the terms of
the agreement announced in open court.
Legal Malpractice Action
January 2009, the plaintiff, through counsel, filed a legal
malpractice action against the defendants stemming from their
representation of her in the dissolution action. The
plaintiff alleged that the defendants violated the standard
of care in numerous ways, including, among other things: (1)
failing to obtain the required financial disclosures from the
husband; and (2) informing the plaintiff that she could just
sign the marital settlement agreement, and that the plaintiff
and her counsel would pursue the financial disclosures and
equitable distribution at a later date. The plaintiff further
alleged that as a result of the defendants' violations of
the standard of care, she was damaged in that she ...