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Caldeen Construction, LLC v. M. Mark Kemp

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-08-2012
Case #: A143946
Duncan, J. for the court; Haselton, P.J. and Armstrong, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A143946.pdf

Criminal Law: A trial court abuses its discretion in dismissing an amended complaint in an attorney negligence claim where the plaintiff attempts to amend the complaint to allege that but for the defendant's negligence, the outcome in the underlying case would have been different.

M. Mark Kemp represented Caldeen Construction, LLC (Caldeen) in a contract matter. Caldeen asserted that Kemp was negligent in his representation during its case, and filed a complaint. Kemp subsequently filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that Caldeen needed to plead that it would have obtained a more favorable result but for the negligence. Caldeen requested leave to file an amended complaint, which Kemp moved to dismiss. The trial court granted Kemp's motion and Caldeen appealed. The Court of Appeals concluded that the trial court abused its discretion. The Court determined that under the four "Ramsey" factors, there was no indication that the amendments would have delayed the trial court's docket, introduced new claims, prejudiced Kemp in any manner, or failed to state a claim. Reversed and remanded.