July 15, 2016 Top Story

Expert Opinion Insufficient for Establishing Causation of Damages

Speculative expert testimony cannot establish that conflict of interest caused damages

Catherine M. Chiccine

An appellate court has upped the ante for clients pursuing malpractice suits against their patent attorney, rejecting a plaintiff's claim that its former counsel's undisclosed conflict of interest caused $41 million in damages. Axcess International, Inc. v. Baker Botts, L.L.P. The ruling establishes that substantial proof of causation of damages will be required and that mere speculation about what might have happened under different circumstances will not suffice.

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