ROBERT GRIMM v. JOHN WAYNE FOX et al., SC 18814
Judicial District of Stamford
Attorneys; Legal Malpractice; Whether Trial Court Properly Found that Expert Testimony was Required. In 2003, the trial court dissolved the plaintiff's marriage and rendered financial orders in favor of his former wife. On appeal, the Appellate Court affirmed the judgment, concluding that the trial court's finding that the plaintiff had diminished the marital estate by $2.9 million was incorrect but harmless error not requiring reversal. Subsequently, the Supreme Court upheld the judgment of the Appellate Court "on the alternate grounds that the [plaintiff's] claims with respect to the $2.9 million were both abandoned and rendered unreviewable by his failure to follow certain basic principles of appellate procedure." See Grimm v. Grimm, 276 Conn. 377, 382 (2005). Thereafter, the plaintiff brought this legal malpractice action against his appellate attorneys. Because the plaintiff did not disclose an expert to testify as to the standard of care, the defendants moved for summary judgment. In opposition, the plaintiff argued that he did not need to present expert testimony to prove his case because a number of this court's statements in the Grimm opinion qualified as expert evidence. Finding that expert testimony was required to prove the plaintiff's legal malpractice claim, the court rendered judgment for the defendants. The plaintiff has appealed, arguing that the written words of the Supreme Court in Grimm constitute evidence of an expert nature that would be sufficient for a jury to conclude that the defendants breached the standard of care and committed malpractice.