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Court overturns Charlevoix judge's attempt to revise jury verdict form

In Carson Fischer, PLC v. Mettler Walloon, LLC, the plaintiff attorney was forced to sue his client after they objected that his billings were too high.  A jury ultimately awarded the attorney exactly what he asked for, however, because the verdict form was deficient, a dispute arose over the jury's intention.  The Plaintiff provided the trial judge with affidavits from jurors confirming their intent to award the attorney precisely the damages he asked for and the judge refused to reduce the judgment by the amount of previous payments.  The defendant appealed this outcome and the plaintiff appealed the trial judge's decision that granted partial summary disposition to the individual defendant.

The Court of Appeals reversed both decisions.  It ruled that with respect to two of three transactions, the attorney was clearly representing the individual defendant as well as the LLC, and that a question of fact existed with regard to the third transaction.  It also ruled, however, that the judge exceeded his powers by attempting to clarify the deficient jury verdict to comport with the jurors' intentions.  Therefore, the case will be tried again.

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