In this case, the Court of Appeals affirmed a defense verdict in a legal malpractice action. Much of the decision discusses the waiver of claims and the sufficiency of arguments made on appeal. These lessons are important for appellate practitioners but are nothing new.
The most important aspect of the Court’s decision was its adoption of Tennessee law, which allows a party to impeach an opposing expert with questions regarding disciplinary actions filed against that expert. No Indiana court had addressed this question, but several out-of-state courts had done so. The Court of Appeals quoted at length from a Tennessee Court of Appeals decision, Sneed v. Stovall, 22 S.W.3d 277, 280-82 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1999), appeal denied. Quoting Sneed, our Court of Appeals explained that an expert’s prior conduct that led to disciplinary charges was relevant:
[T]he expert’s “veracity as a witness should surely be questioned by virtue of this conduct,” as he was, “in effect, pronouncing judgment as to the conduct of [a fellow professional].” Sneed, 22 S.W.3d at 282. As one who undertakes such a task is exposed to a determination of his own view of the profession by virtue of his own conduct, the jury should have the benefit of evidence concerning his veracity and character.
Surprisingly, the Court of Appeals designated this case as not-for-publication, despite its recognition that it was addressing a point of law that no Indiana court had previously addressed. Either party may ask the Court of Appeals to change this opinion to a “for publication.”
In the interests of full disclosure, William Ramsey, the editor and one of the authors of the IAL and author of this post, was one of the defense attorneys in this appeal.
The information contained in the Barrett McNagny LLP website is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice on any subject matter. Furthermore, the information contained on our website may not reflect the most current legal developments. You should not act upon this information without consulting legal counsel.
Your transmission and receipt of information on the Barrett McNagny LLP website, or sending an e-mail to one of our attorneys or staff, will not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Barrett McNagny LLP. If you need legal advice and want to establish an attorney-client relationship with Barrett McNagny LLP, please contact one of our attorneys by telephone, email, or other means of communication, and allow the attorney to confirm that the firm does not represent other persons or entities involved in the matter and that the firm is willing to accept representation. Until such confirmation is provided by one of our attorneys, you should not transmit information to us that you consider confidential. If you do provide information to us, and no attorney-client relationship is established, the information will not be considered confidential or privileged, and our receipt of such information will not preclude us from representing another client in a matter adverse to you.
Any links to other websites are not intended to be referrals or endorsements of those sites.
Thank you for contacting us!
A representative will be in touch with you shortly.
An attorney-client relationship will NOT be formed merely by sending an email to Barrett McNagny, LLP or to any of its attorneys. Please do not send any information specific to your legal needs until you obtain approval from a Barrett McNagny, LLP attorney, as the content of such email will not be considered confidential or privileged. By sending us an email, you confirm your understanding of this notification. If you agree, you may use the e-mail links on this page to contact an attorney.