Court of Appeal reverses $30 million malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty judgment

Blanks v. Seyfarth Shaw LLP (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 336 (California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three). In a suit charging attorney malpractice and related intentional torts, a celebrity plaintiff claimed that GMSR’s client, a major law firm, had deprived him of an automatic $10 million recovery from his former business manager/agent under the Talent Agencies Act. The jury awarded the plaintiff over $30 million, including $15 million punitive damages. In a published decision, the Court of Appeal reversed the judgment in its entirety and remanded the case for retrial, finding prejudicial instructional and other errors and with specific directions for the trial court to consider a potentially dispositive defense it had previously rejected.