Court rules no grounds for man to sue attorney after very ugly divorce
Brad Saffron sued his [third--of four] attorney, Craig W. Elhart, claiming that his divorce recovery was smaller than it should have been because Elhart didn't adequately prepare his case and follow through. Elhart counter-sued for $28,000.00 in fees that were owed. The trial court dismissed the malpractice claim and defaulted Saffron on the fee dispute [perhaps creating malpractice claim number two since the malpractice attorneys didn't answer the fee counter-claim on time]. Saffron appealed, but the Court of Appeals ruled against him.The parties presented an ugly, complicated divorce property action, involving inherited assets, a prenuptial agreement, a car won in a Casino drawing, large gambling debts, an affair, termination of employment after the spouse's report of improper activity to the employer, credit card debt: in short, just about everything you can imagine that would complicate a bitter divorce.
The Court ruled that the malpractice claim was based on improper speculation about what might have transpired if Elhart had provided the Court with additional factual information which the malpractice attorneys failed to produce in the instant action. As a result, the claimed damages were too speculative to award. The Court also noted that since Saffron had failed to present any meritorious defense to Elhart's fee claim, the court was right to faile to set it aside.