Ladner v. Inge

In Ladner v. Inge, 603 So. 2d 1012 (Ala. 1992), the Court considered legal malpractice in connection with a real estate transaction. The plaintiff had transferred her interest in inherited property to her two brothers, in exchange for promissory notes. More than four years after the transactions, and after the brothers had defaulted on the notes, the plaintiff sued her attorney, alleging that he had committed malpractice by failing to advise her to obtain mortgages on the property to secure payment of the notes. 603 So. 2d at 1013. The Court held that the action was time-barred, reasoning that the plaintiff "sustained the alleged injury or damage ... when she accepted the unsecured promissory notes and delivered the warranty deeds," because "unsecured promissory notes ... are less valuable than promissory notes secured by mortgages," and "in addition to having no security interest and having her claims vulnerable to the priority enjoyed by holders of other claims, [the plaintiff] could not sell or assign the unsecured promissory notes in the same manner as she could have sold or assigned a note secured by a mortgage; nor could she have transferred it for a comparable value." 603 So. 2d at 1015.