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Attorney Fails To File An Appeal – But Legal Malpractice Case is Dismissed Anyway

This is a divorce malpractice case where a lawyer allegedly failed to timely appeal a divorce judgment against his client. His client (Ex-Husband) claimed that the failure to appeal constituted legal malpractice. The Georgia courts disagreed. The holding: even though the lawyer missed the deadline to appeal, there was no legal malpractice because Ex-Husband’s appeal had no merit. Put in more blunt terms, the courts found that Ex-Husband was an adulterer and, in the State of Georgia, was going to lose the divorce case.

The explanation:

We conclude that, as a matter of law, Ward failed to demonstrate that the divorce court abused its discretion and that the Supreme Court thus would have reversed the award but for Benson’s error. Although Ward complained that the divorce court gave undue weight to his alleged adultery, the amended order indicates that the court did consider “all the relevant factors” and did not improperly consider evidence of Ward’s adultery. “[E]ven though an adulterous spouse cannot obtain alimony, an equitable property division is still permissible. . . . However, where equitable division of property is in issue, the conduct of the parties, both during the marriage and with reference to the cause of the divorce, is relevant and admissible.”[

Source: Benson v. Ward, Ga: Court of Appeals 2017 – Google Scholar