A state supreme court has offered guidance on when and how to bring new claims on issues that, at first glance, appear to be barred by binding precedent. ABA Section of Litigation leaders say the decision helps clarify when a claim is frivolous and when the facts and law have sufficiently evolved to support a new action.
The dispute in Mitchell v. J&M Securities, LLC, began when the self-proclaimed “professional judgment enforcement firm” J&M Securities, LLC—which is not a law firm— filed, without the assistance of an attorney, garnishment applications and interrogatories with the court clerk against three Missouri residents. In response, the garnishees filed a class action petition against J&M in the St. Louis County Circuit Court. The garnishees asserted that J&M and its sole principal had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by filing garnishment actions against them and hundreds of other debtors in Missouri.
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