July/August 2015 LACBA MCLE Test and Answer Sheet

Test No. 248: Malpractice Expertise

To access the article related to this test, please click here.

 
Instructions for Obtaining MCLE Credit

The Los Angeles County Bar Association certifies that this activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1 hour. To apply for credit, please follow the instructions.

1. Study the CLE article.

2. Answer the test questions by marking the appropriate boxes. Each question has only one answer.

3. Photocopies of this answer sheet may be submitted; however, this form should not be enlarged or reduced. Mail the answer sheet and the $20 testing fee ($25 for non-LACBA members) to:

Los Angeles Lawyer
MCLE Test
P.O. Box 55020
Los Angeles, CA 90055

Make checks payable to Los Angeles Lawyer.

4. You can also fill in the test form and submit it directly to LACBA by clicking "Submit." To submit your test answers online you will need to pay by credit card. After submitting your answers you will be presented with a screen requesting payment information. This information will be submitted in a secure mode which will allow you to safely transmit your credit card number over the Internet. If you prefer not to pay by credit card, please print this answer sheet and submit your responses by regular mail.

5. Within six weeks, Los Angeles Lawyer will return your test with the correct answers, a rationale for the correct answers, and a certificate verifying the CLE credit you earned through this self-assessment activity.

6. For future reference, please retain the CLE test materials returned to you.


 

Test Sheet
 



  
Mark your answers to the test by clicking next to your choice.  All questions must be answered.  Each question has only one answer. This test is worth 1 hour of credit.*

1. The requirement for expert testimony in any legal dispute is subject to detailed statutory analysis.


2. The elements of a legal malpractice claim are 1) the duty of the attorney to use such skill, prudence, and diligence as members of his or her profession commonly possess and exercise, 2) a breach of that duty, 3) a proximate causal connection between the breach and the resulting injury, and 4) actual loss or damage resulting from the attorney's negligence.


3. Expert testimony in a legal malpractice action is admissible as to the elements of the existence of a duty and breach of that duty.


4. The elements of a breach of fiduciary are the same as those for a legal malpractice claim.


5. The trial judge decides whether expert testimony is admissible.


6. The standards for admitting expert testimony are whether the opinion relates "to a subject that is sufficiently beyond common experience" and is "based on matter...of a type that reasonably may be relied upon by an expert in forming an opinion...."


7. Expert testimony in a legal malpractice case is not admissible if it invades the province of the jury to decide the case.


8. Expert testimony must be used in every legal malpractice case.


9. An expert is needed in a legal malpractice action if the attorney held himself or herself out as a legal specialist and the claim against the attorney is related to that expertise.


10. Day v. Rosenthal, because of its extraordinary facts, is an exception to the general proposition that expert testimony is required in legal malpractice cases.


11. An expert is not needed in a court trial, as opposed to a jury trial, regarding legal malpractice if the attorney held himself or herself out as a legal specialist and the claim against the attorney is related to that expertise.


12. If the attorney held himself or herself out as a legal specialist, and the claim relates to that expertise, the expert testimony should be whether a reasonably prudent specialist in that area of expertise would have acted differently or the same as did the defendant attorney.


A legal malpractice claim can ordinarily be proven without an expert testifying about the applicable standard of care and the breach of that duty.


14. Experts in a legal malpractice case regarding whether a legal specialist breached his or her duty of care should be knowledgeable in the same specialty.


15. An expert is not needed in a legal malpractice claim if the attorney's performance is so clearly contrary to established standards that a trier of fact may find professional negligence unassisted by expert testimony.


16. A critical finding by the trial judge whether expert testimony is required in a legal malpractice claim is the amount of the claimed loss or damages.


17. An expert is not required in a legal malpractice action if it is common knowledge that an attorney must perform a particular duty or act..


18. Expert testimony is needed in a malpractice action if the question for the trier of fact is whether an expert in admiralty law would have acted differently than did the defendant attorney.


19. Expert testimony is required if a client has sued the former attorney only for breach of fiduciary duty.


20. Expert testimony in a legal malpractice case may be used to show what a reasonable trier of fact would have done in the underlying case.


Before clicking the Submit button, please verify that all questions have been answered. An error message will appear if not all questions are answered.

* The Los Angeles County Bar Association has been approved as a continuing legal education provider of Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California. This self-assessment activity will qualify for Minimum Continuing Legal Education legal ethics credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of one hour.