Sunday, April 14, 2013

Viner v. Sweet case brief

Viner v. Sweet case brief summary
30 Cal 4th 1232, 70 P.3d 1046 (Cal. 2003)

The attorneys (D) sought review of the California Court of Appeals that affirmed the lower court's ruling on a legal malpractice award.
The legal malpractice award's damages had been reduced by the Appeals Court.

The attorneys were hired by clients to assist in the negotiation of sale of the client's business.
The clients brought suit against the attorneys for malpractice.
The clients argued that the attorneys had given them incorrect advice and negligently agreed to various provisions which were not favorable to the clients.
The jury found in the client's favor.
The attorneys argued that the trial court erred by not instructing the jury that the clients had the burden of proof in that they would have received a better deal in the transaction but for the attorney's acts of negligence.

The court held that in this transactional malpractice action, the clients were required to show, but for the malpractice that was alleged, it was more likely than not that the clients would have obtained a more favorable result in the transaction(s).

The trial court's instructions were erroneous.

The court reversed and the case was remanded to the court of appeals.

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