Firm News

The Case-Within-A-Case Analysis is Objective, Not Subjective

By Will Jordan

It’s a quiet day in the world of legal malpractice court decisions . . . nothing of great interest for us to report. Sigh. So, we’ll take this opportunity to remember an important feature of the familiar case-within-a-case doctrine: the standard is objective, not subjective. Courts have recognized that the test under the case-within-a-case doctrine is not what the outcome of the underlying case would have been, not what a particular judge or jury would have decided, but rather what the outcome should have been. In light of this objective standard, many courts recognize that the question of the success of the underlying claim is a question of law, which properly may be decided at the summary judgment stage.