Yarbrough v. Eversole

Myron Yarbrough appealed a circuit court judgment entered against him in his action alleging legal malpractice against Steven Eversole, Richard Perry, Jr., and Eversole Law, LLC ("the firm"). In 2006, Yarbrough was convicted of one count of first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sodomy. The trial court sentenced him to life imprisonment for each conviction and ordered that the sentences were to run concurrently. Yarbrough appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeals, which affirmed his convictions and sentences in an unpublished memorandum. At the time of the events giving rise to Yarbrough's cause of action, the firm employed both Eversole and Perry. In March 2012, Yarbrough retained the firm to explore the possibility of filing a Rule 32, Ala. R. Crim. P., petition on Yarbrough's behalf. Yarbrough alleged that Eversole and Perry represented to Yarbrough that "there was a basis in fact and law to file a Rule 32 petition." Yarbrough asserted, however, that the two attorneys "knew that there was no 'newly discovered' evidence as defined by Alabama case law and that the statute of limitations would be a complete bar to all claims of newly discovered evidence and for the claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel and appellate counsel." Yarbrough paid the firm $10,000 to file a Rule 32 petition on his behalf. The claims in that Rule 32 petition were ultimately denied as time-barred. Yarbrough filed this legal malpractice action against the firm, alleging that they misrepresented his chances of success in the Rule 32 petition. After review, the Supreme Court found that circuit court erred in concluding that Yarbrough's legal-malpractice action against the firm and Eversole failed as a matter of law. However, there existed a plain dispute of fact as to what Eversole told Yarbrough about the prospects of a Rule 32 petition and the subsequent appellate filings. Therefore, a judgment on the pleadings in favor of the firm and Eversole was not warranted. The summary judgment in favor of Perry was affirmed, but the judgment on the pleadings in favor of the firm and Eversole was reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Yarbrough v. Eversole" on Justia Law