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Minnesota Court Holds Expert Testimony Requirement Applies to Breach of Fiduciary Duty Cases Against Lawyers

One issue that arises every year is whether or not the plaintiff must submit the testimony of an expert witness to meet his or her burden of proof. All 50 states require a plaintiff to submit expert testimony to prove legal malpractice.  The expert witness requirement serves to eliminate cases where no attorney will opine that the conduct of the defendant was negligent.

Sometimes a plaintiff will use a different legal theory. Instead of malpractice the plaintiff will argue that the lawyer breached a fiduciary duty.  In Mittelstaedt v. Henney, 954 NS 2d 852 (Minnesota Court of Appeals 2021), the court held that the requirement for expert testimony does apply in a breach of fiduciary duty case as well as a malpractice case. The court also rejected the argument that the malpractice was so apparent that no expert testimony was required.

If you have a question about legal malpractice, do not hesitate to contact us.

Ed Clinton, Jr.

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