Directed Verdict for Legal Malpractice Defendant When Plaintiff Fails to Present Expert Testimony on Standard of Care

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Directed verdict on a complaint for legal malrpractice is appropriate when the former client fails to present expert testimony from a legal expert with regard to the applicable standard of care. That is what the California Court of Appeal held in an unpublished decision handed down on September 22, 2010 in Cooper v. Ahsan, 2010 Cal.App.Unpub.LEXIS 7545. The dispute arose out of the attorney’s handling of a marital dissolution action. At trial the former client did not presnt an expert witness to testify regarding the applicable standard of care, as required by Kelly v. Trunk, 66 Cal.App.4th 519 (1998), which meant that he could not meet the causation element of his claim for legal malpractice.

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