Kentucky's Supreme Court Holds Attorneys May Be Liable for Errors in Judgment When They Fail to Exercise Reasonable Care
In submitting a legal malpractice case to the jury, a trial court in Kentucky included the following statement when instructing the jury about the standard of care,
Provided, however, a lawyer cannot be held responsible for errors in judgment or for advising a course of action even if that course of action ultimately proves to be unsuccessful.The jury then returned a verdict in favor of the attorney. But the Kentucky Supreme Court recently reversed the verdict holding that the trial court erred in instructing the jury that an attorney my not be held liable for errors in judgment (the infamous "judgmental immunity" or "mistake in judgment" defense). In its decision the Court explained that attorneys may be liable for errors in judgment that a reasonable prudent attorney would not commit, and that attorneys can avoid liability for an error in judgment only when he or she acts in "absolute good faith." See, Equitania Ins. Co. v. Slone & Garrett, P.S.C., 2006 WL 434137 (Ky., Feb. 23, 2006).