1. Smith was represented by Lewis, an attorney, in a divorce action against her husband, General Smith. General Smith was employed by the California National Guard and, as a state employee, belonged to the State Employees’ Retirement System. Lewis advised Smith that her husband’s retirement benefits were not community property and thus would not be considered in the divorce litigation or distributed by the trial court. Six months after the divorce was final, Lewis petitioned the court to amend the decree because of his mistake in not including the retirement benefits as community property in the divorce action. It was pointed out that major authoritative reference works, which attorneys routinely consult for a brief and reliable discussion of the law, provided that vested retirement benefits were generally subject to community property treatment. The court refused Lewis, and Smith brought suit against her attorney for malpractice. Will Lewis be found to be liable for malpractice?
2. During construction at Alma College, an inadequately reinforced wall of an excavation caved in and killed Clark, a worker employed by Beard, the general contractor. The contract between the architect, Sarvis, and Beard provided that Sarvis had supervisory authority over the construction and thus had the responsibility for the safety of all workers at the site. The administrator of Clark’s estate brought suit against Sarvis, charging negligence. Will a suit against the architect succeed?
3. Mansfield contacted his insurance agent and asked him to obtain an automobile insurance liability policy to be effective as of February 10. On February 14, Mansfield was involved in an accident while operating his car. The agent provided a policy with an effective date of February 24, which did not cover the loss resulting from the accident. Mansfield charged the agent with a breach of the contract to procure insurance as well as negligence in the performance of his responsibilities. Will Mansfield succeed in his suit?
4. Chard completed an educational program in financial planning and was awarded the certification offered by a national association of financial planners. He set up a business to offer his financial planning services to the general public. One of his first clients, Roblee, sought Chard’s advice on investments and insurance. Chard prepared a written report that included a recommendation to purchase shares in a real estate venture. Because Chard neglected to verify the financial status of the real estate venture, Roblee lost a significant amount of the money he had invested in the venture. With almost no prospect of ever recovering the investment, he sued Chard, charging negligence. Is Roblee likely to succeed in the suit?