Procedural Posture

Appellant challenged a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), granting summary judgment in favor of appellee law firm in a legal malpractice action in which appellant alleged that appellee failed to properly advise him about the wisdom of appealing an underlying action. Appellant contended that triable issues of fact existed.

California Business Lawyer & Corporate Lawyer, Inc. understands CACI 420

Overview

Appellant filed a legal malpractice action against appellee law firm alleging that appellee failed to properly advise him about the wisdom of appealing an earlier fraud and breach of contract case. The trial court granted appellee’s motion for summary judgment. On review, appellant contended that triable issues of fact existed regarding his malpractice claim and appellee’s claim for attorney fees. The appeals court affirmed because appellant failed to make a showing that appeal of the fraud issue in the prior action would have been successful. The court reasoned that appellant’s only legal argument was an erroneous conclusion that the jury found no actual damages to the fraud. Moreover, because appellant made a judicial admission that the attorney fees were reasonable and that he was legally obligated to pay the fees, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in choosing not to disregard the admission.

Outcome

The court affirmed the grant of summary judgment for appellee law firm because appellant did not show that appeal of the underlying action would have been successful.