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Katz v. Grossman

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

June 27, 2019

Larry Katz, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Andrew S. Grossman, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

          Appeal from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No. 15CV-2614.

         On brief:

          Golden & Meizlish, Co., LPA, and Keith Golden, for appellant.

          Reminger Co., LPA, and Matthew L. Schrader, for appellees.

         Argued:

          Adam H. Karl.

          Matthew L. Schrader.

          DECISION

          BEATTY BLUNT, J.

         {¶ 1} Plaintiff-appellant, Larry Katz, appeals from a judgment by the Franklin County Common Pleas Court denying his motion for leave to respond to appellees' counterclaim, granting appellees' motion for default judgment on the counterclaim, and overruling his objections to a magistrate's decision awarding damages on the counterclaim.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶ 2} Appellant filed, pro se, a legal malpractice claim against appellees related to appellees' representation of appellant in a divorce case and two related appeals.

         {¶ 3} On April 27, 2015, appellees filed an answer to the complaint. They also filed a counterclaim for unpaid legal fees related to that representation. Appellant did not file an answer to the counterclaim within the time period prescribed by rule.

         {¶ 4} On July 10, 2015, appellees filed a motion for default judgment on their counterclaim. They also filed contemporaneously a motion for summary judgment on appellant's claims against them.

         {¶ 5} On July 27, 2015, appellant filed a "Motion to File out of Rule" and represented that it was "a response to the Defendant." To support his motion, appellant stated that there were genuine issues of material fact to overcome the motion for summary judgment. Appellant did not specifically mention the motion for default judgment.

         {¶ 6} On July 27, 2015, appellant filed a "Memorandum Contra [Appellees'] Motion for Judgment." In that filing, appellant argued that he has valid defenses to appellees' counterclaim for attorney fees. He requested that the court overrule appellees' motion for summary judgment.

         {¶ 7} On July 27, 2015, appellant filed "Motion for Extension of Time within which to Move or Plead." Despite its title, the motion's substance was focused on responses to appellees' discovery requests.

         {¶ 8} On August 3, 2015, appellees requested an extension of time to file reply briefs in support of their motions. In their request for an extension of time, appellees represented that appellant's July 27, 2015 memorandum contra "seemingly relates to the Motion for Default Judgment."

         {¶ 9} On October 9, 2015, the trial court granted appellant's July 27, 2015 motion to file out of rule, and instructed appellant that he had 14 additional days from the date of the order to respond to the motion for summary judgment. The ...


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