February 19, 2016

Hodges v. Carter - 239 N.C. 517, 80 S.E.2d 144 (N.C. 1954)

FACTS: The plaintiff lost his drugstore building in a fire and then attempted to recover insurance money from four companies.  The defendants are his attorneys who helped him sue the insurance companies.  He claims they failed to serve process properly and to sue out alias summonses at the time the companies filed motions to dismiss.

HISTORY:

ISSUE: Were they negligent?

HOLDING: No

RATIONALE: An attorney who acts in good faith and is in error simply b/c of a mistake in point of law not yet settled by the state is not liable.  An attorney whose client is damaged b/c he does not have the degree of knowledge and skill ordinarily possessed by others of his profession is liable.

DISPOSITION: Affirmed, not negligent