Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Drake v. Wickwire case brief

Drake v. Wickwire case brief summary
795 P.2d 195 (1990)

Appellant client challenged a judgment of the Superior Court of the State of Alaska, Fourth Judicial District, which granted summary judgment to appellee attorney in a malpractice action arising out of the attorney's alleged inducement of the client to break an earnest money sales agreement.

A client followed his attorney's advice to sell property to buyers other than those with which the client had entered into an earnest money sales agreement after the attorney received information that the buyers with which there was the agreement might not be able to perform on a particular date. After the sale, the agent for the buyers with whom the client had the agreement sued the client for his real estate commission, and summary judgment was granted to the agent because the client had sold the property before the time in the agreement had expired for the buyers with whom the client had the agreement to tender payment, preventing performance under the agreement. The client filed an action against the attorney.


  • The court reversed the trial court's grant of summary judgment for the attorney, holding that although the client failed to present expert testimony regarding the attorney's breach of duty, the attorney was negligent as a matter of law because he did not act reasonably in treating the agent's ambiguous comments regarding the buyer's potential lack of performance on a particular date as a repudiation. 
  • The court remanded the case for further proceedings.

The court reversed the grant of summary judgment for the attorney and remanded for further proceedings.

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