Leibel, et al. v. Johnson

After a jury returned a verdict for Dr. Mary Johnson on her legal malpractice claim against Steven K. Leibel, Leibel filed a motion for JNOV and a motion for a new trial. The trial court denied the motion for JNOV but granted the motion for new trial. Both parties appealed and the court of appeals reversed the grant of Leibel's motion for new trial but affirmed the denial of the motion for the JNOV. The court held that, contrary to the court of appeals' reasoning, the second jury in the malpractice case was not deciding what the first jury would have done in the underlying case had the attorney not been negligent, but only what a reasonable jury would have done had the underlying case been tried without the attorney negligence alleged by plaintiff. Because the jury in the malpractice case was not being asked to decide what a prior jury would have done, it was merely being asked to do exactly what any jury in a discrimination lawsuit would do, which was, evaluate the evidence in the case and decide the case on the merits. This was a task that was solely for the jury, and that was not properly the subject of expert testimony. Accordingly, the court of appeals erred in concluding that the expert testimony at issue was admissible in this case. Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment. View "Leibel, et al. v. Johnson" on Justia Law