Judge Tosses Legal Malpractice Claims Over Trial Strategy
A Manhattan Supreme Court Judge dismissed what she said "were plainly disagreements" over trial strategy from a legal malpractice lawsuit claiming over $155,000,000 in damages on August 2, 2016. According to Justice Scarpulla: "Issues like determining how to deal with inconsistent evidence are quintessential trial strategy decisions that may not form the basis of a malpractice claim." Bison Capital v. Hunton & Williams, Index No.153793/15
This decision is based on a rule of law recognized over 100 years ago applicable to all professional malpractice claims called the "error in judgment rule". When a doctor or lawyer, after careful evaluation, chooses one tactic or strategy over other reasonable courses of action, they are not liable if it is a judgment that a reasonably prudent doctor or lawyer could have made under the circumstances. In short a doctor or lawyer is not liable for malpractice if he or she chooses one of two or more acceptable courses of action.
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