Friday, October 10, 2014

Hodges v. Carter case brief summary


Hodges v. Carter case brief summary

F: TC dismissed,
P (client): The D failed to adhere to a standard of care to act as a
reasonably and prudent person, exercising the degree of learning, skill, and ability of an attorney.
D (attorney): The D acted with good faith and exercised their best judgment as custom dictated in mailing the summons and complaint to the insurance commissioner as any other attorney would have done.
P’s drug store was destroyed by fire and at the time P had four insurance policies with different insurance companies against this type of loss.
All four declined to pay any part.
D were attorneys hired to represent P.
D filed complaint and summons, but mailed copies to the State Insurance Commissioner as service of process custom dictated.
TC determined the custom was valid and entered judgment, the insurance companies appealed and won.
Then, P brought action against the D claiming D were negligent in prosecuting P actions against the insurance companies by using an improper service of process, and failure to issue alias summons at the time initial action was pending.
malpractice: term used for in professional field
I: Whether the D breached a standard of care to act as a reasonably and prudent person, exercising the same or similar degree of knowledge and skill ordinarily possessed by others of his profession similarly situated
R: att'y who has acted in good faith and in the best interests of his client is not liable in neg. for a mere error in
JUDGMENT.
A: An atty must possess the requisite degree of learning, skill, and ability necessary to practice in his profession, and which others similarly situated possess; and that he will exert his best judgment in the prosecution of the litigation entrusted to him, and he will exercise reasonable and ordinary care and diligence in the use of his skill.
P has not produce any evidence to show D breached any duty the law imposed upon them when they accepted employment to prosecute P’s actions or that they did not possess the requisite learning, skill or ability required of an atty.
D mailed the process to the commissioner in following a custom which had prevailed in this State for over two decades.
The right of the Commissioner to accept such had not been tested in the courts until the case arising this action.
C: affirmed.
Co:Ordinarily when an attorney engages in the practice of the law and contracts to prosecute an action in behalf of his clinet, he impliedly represents that 1) requisite degree of learning, skill, and ability necessary to the practice of his profession and which others similarly situated ordinarily possess 2) his best judgment in the prosecution of the litigation entrusted to him; and 3) reasonable and ordinary care and diligence in the use of his skill and in the application of his knowledge to his clinet’s cause. (professional field standard) à distinction common in law

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