Bank of Texas, N.A. v. Glenny No. 05-11-01478-CV
Dallas Court of Appeals (June 18, 2013)
Justices Moseley (Opinion), Francis, and Lang
Reversing a trial court’s grant of summary judgment for an attorney-defendant, the Dallas Court of Appeals remanded claims that the attorney negligently misrepresented a client’s finances in letters to a bank in connection with a real estate loan to the client. The two letters, issued on the lawyer’s letterhead and apparently signed by the lawyer, verified the client’s employment status and unlimited access to funds in two trust accounts. The bank alleged the facts contained in the letters were false, and that it relied on them to make the loan, on which the client subsequently defaulted.

The attorney denied signing, authorizing, or knowing anything about the letters before they were sent to the bank. The court found that conflicting evidence concerning the preparation and signing of the letter precluded summary judgment on whether they were prepared within the course and scope of the lawyer’s employees so that any negligence could be imputed to the lawyer. The court also held that the economic loss rule did not apply to communications between strangers to the contract, i.e., the promissory note. Finally, the court held the summary judgment evidence did not preclude a finding that the bank justifiably relied on the letters.