Wolf Block Settles Legal Malpractice Case Over Prenup
While the divorce case has since been settled, Podraza said at the 2012 oral argument before the Pennsylvania Superior Court that Potamkin's potential damages against Wolf Block are somewhere between $30 million and $85 million.
The validity of the 1983 prenuptial agreement had been brought into question by the Florida court handling the divorce action. Potamkin entered a tolling agreement with Wolf Block to toll the statute of limitations for malpractice while his attorneys as well as lawyers for Wolf Block attempted to enforce the prenuptial agreement. When the Florida judge denied summary judgment on the issue and ruled discovery of assets should continue, Potamkin filed the complaint in the malpractice case in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
Potamkin and his family had hired Wolf Block for business, financial and personal matters starting in the early 1970s. Potamkin hired the firm in 1983 to write up a prenuptial agreement in advance of his Oct. 1, 1983, marriage to Claudia Forman. David R. Glyn, then a Wolf Block partner under the supervision of then-partner David J. Kaufman, was assigned to draft the agreement under Florida law, according to the complaint.
According to the complaint, the agreement was supposed to establish a formula for what Potamkin would have to pay Forman if they divorced or separated. The attorneys, Potamkin said in the complaint, were supposed to "make the prenuptial agreement iron clad so that no judge could later interpret it to impose greater or lesser financial obligations on Alan Potamkin" in the event of a divorce.
But, in January 2007, a month after Potamkin and Forman decided to divorce, Forman informed Potamkin that her lawyers didn't think the prenuptial agreement limited his financial obligations as envisioned by the agreement, according to the complaint. In denying summary judgment, the Florida court had ruled the prenuptial agreement did not conclusively establish that either party waived equitable distribution of the assets.