Justia Professional Malpractice & Ethics Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Iowa Supreme Court
Whitley v. C.R. Pharmacy Serv., Inc.
In this case the Supreme Court was asked to decide whether the district court erred in admitting exhibits directed to the issue of fault in a pharmacy malpractice action that were not disclosed during the pretrial discovery. Plaintiff appealed the district court's adverse ruling. The court of appeals found the district court abused its discretion by not excluding the evidence as a sanction for violating both the pretrial order of the district court to disclose all exhibits prior to trial and the spirit and purpose of the discovery rules. The Supreme Court vacated the court of appeals and affirmed the district court, holding (1) the pharmacy had a duty to disclose the newly discovered evidence prior to trial by supplementing its answers to interrogatories; and (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion when it denied the request to exclude the evidence as a sanction, as the trial court pursued a reasonable course of action. View "Whitley v. C.R. Pharmacy Serv., Inc." on Justia Law
Rowedder v. Anderson
In this real estate dispute, some of the defendants filed a motion for sanctions, alleging Defendant brought the action to harass, cause unnecessary delay, and needlessly increase the cost of litigation. The district court ordered sanctions against Plaintiff's counsel for $1,000. The court of appeals affirmed the sanctions, ordering them payable to the jury and witness fund. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the court of appeals, holding (1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in fixing the amount of the sanction at $1,000; (2) the court abused its discretion by ordering the sanction be paid to the jury and witness fund; and (3) given Rule 1.413(1)'s preference of compensating victims, the district court should enter an order requiring Plaintiff's counsel to pay the sanction in equal sums to the defendants who sought the sanction as partial reimbursement of the legal fees they incurred in defending against the unfounded claims brought against them. Remanded. View "Rowedder v. Anderson" on Justia Law
Quad City Bank & Trust v. Jim Kircher & Assocs., P.C.
A bank attempted to prove an accounting negligence claim by using an expert witness to testify regarding the accountant's audit of a lumber company. The district court refused to allow the expert to testify as to generally accepted CPA auditing standards, whether the accountant breached those standards, and causation. The district court left open the question of whether the expert could testify as to the accountant's work papers. At trial, the bank made an offer of proof as to the work papers but did not move to introduce them, and so the court never ruled on their admissibility. The jury returned a verdict finding the accountant did not negligently perform the audit. The court of appeals reversed the district court and remanded for a new trial. The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the court of appeals and affirmed the judgment of the district court, holding (1) the bank failed to preserve error on the work-paper issue, and (2) the expert was not qualified to testify on the ultimate issue of whether the accountant violated generally accepted accounting standards because the expert lacked the knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education to provide an adequate basis for this testimony. View "Quad City Bank & Trust v. Jim Kircher & Assocs., P.C." on Justia Law