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2018 Annual Meeting and CLE/CEU Presentation

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Suit-Within-Suit LPL Instruction Correct

Wednesday, July 4, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tom Jensen
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Decedent's spouse and mother disputed decedent's property distribution, causing mother to sue wife. Wife retained counsel who failed to appear for the trial. Default judgment was entered against wife who thereupon sued counsel for legal malpractice. At trial counsel unsuccessfully asked for this instruction: "would [wife] have won the underlying case?" Trial court's damage question required the jury to state in dollars and cents "[t]he difference, if any, between the result obtained for [wife] by [counsel] and the result that would have been obtained with a competent attorney." In Spriggs v. Gonzalez, 2018 WL 3193746 (Tex. App. June 28, 2018) the court found no error. The instruction submitted by the court conformed to the suit-within-a-suit principle. Court also found no error in allowing the testimony of plaintiff's real estate, law professor, and attorney expert witnesses.

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