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Tennessee Court Upholds Legal Malpractice Claim Based on Prenuptial Agreement

This case is captioned Dustin Scott Roberts v. William R. Ray, No E2015-01522-COA-R3-CV, filed April 13, 2016.

Roberts retained Ray to draft a prenuptial agreement. Later when Roberts was undergoing a divorce the trial court held that the prenuptial was invalid because Ray did not make a full and fair disclosure of his assets to his bride. Roberts then sued Ray and alleged that Ray did not meet professional standards in drafting the prenuptial and that the errors caused Ray damages. Ray’s claim appears to be that the lawyer failed to advise him to make sure that the disclosures of assets attached as an exhibit to the prenuptial was accurate. The trial court granted summary judgment but the appellate court reversed and held that there were factual issues which prevented the grant of summary judgment.

This is the first reported case I have seen on this issue. Apparently the lawyer could have avoided liability by some sort of written communication to the client that the disclosure of assets must be complete and accurate.

Edward X. Clinton, Jr.